Newly crowned middleweight champion Alex Pereira has claimed that Khamzat Chimaev turned down his offer to fight him at UFC 283 on January 21st in Brazil, but Chimaev has since denied that’s the case.
It had actually been Chimaev who’d first called for the fight on Twitter, and Pereira says he was actually up for the idea, but asked for it to take place at 205lbs.
“[I] went to [my] managers and said, ‘Look, I just did a hard weight cut, I can’t make  for this right now, but tell the UFC I’ll challenge him to fight me at 205 at [UFC 283] in Rio,” Pereira said on The MMA Hour. “Chimaev didn’t want it.
“He’s a big guy, [I’m] a big guy, let’s do it at light heavyweight so we don’t have to worry about a weight cut. We offered 205 for Rio.”
Chimaev has since responded, and seems bemused by Pereira’s version of events.
“wtf,” Chimaev wrote. “I asked them about this fight in Brazil, fake belt fake Coach fake fighter.”
You’ll have to decide for yourself whose telling the truth here, but regardless of that, while this would be a fun spectacle to watch unfold, it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense to have the new 185lb champion and No.3 ranked 170lb contender competing in a non-title fight at 205lbs anyway, so perhaps it’s for the best that it doesn’t seem to be happening.