After defeating Jiri Prochazka via TKO to win the light-heavyweight title recently, Alex Pereira has now given his thoughts on two potential opponents for his 1st defense of the belt, believing that former champ Jamahal Hill and Magomed Ankalaev are the most likely options.
“I have heard a lot of people say this, that he would be a bad matchup for me. I like that,” Alex Pereira said of Ankalaev on his YouTube channel. “If there were only two guys available for me today, Hill or Ankalaev, if I had to choose one of them. Thinking like that, Hill would be a better matchup, of course, I’m always thinking about winning. It wouldn’t be a sure thing, but it would be better for me.”
“Ankalaev would be more difficult. I think it’s a really good challenge for me. It would be harder, I agree, but I’ve been training hard. I’ve been evolving with each session. I would have a strategy for Ankalaev, too, of course. If I could choose, I’d pick him over Hill.”
Pereira’s win over Prochazka was his 2nd at light-heavyweight, having also beaten another ex-champion Jan Blachowicz by split-decision earlier in the year. Prior to that Pereira had gone 5-1 during his run in the UFC’s middleweight division, winning the title along the way by TKO’ing Israel Adesanya back in November of last year, before being KO’d himself in their rematch in April.
As for his potential opponents, Hill was the champion of the division after a four-fight winning streak which culminated by defeating Glover Teixera, but he then had to relinquish the title due to an injury and is still on the road to recovery from that.
Meanwhile, Ankalaev is undefeated in his last 11 UFC fights, but that does include a split draw in his fight for the vacant belt against Jan Blachowicz back in December of last year, which was then followed by a no-contest in his last fight against Johnny Walker due to having illegally kneed his opponent in the head while he was grounded.