Khamzat Chimaev, the undefeated middleweight contender, is keen on making a bold move to the light heavyweight division for a title challenge against the new champion, Alex Pereira. Chimaev, currently ranked eighth in the middleweight division, has expressed his desire to Dana White, the UFC CEO, to set up a title fight with Pereira, confidently stating his intention to “finish” the Brazilian champion.
Chimaev last competed at UFC 294 in October in Abu Dhabi, UAE, where he secured a majority decision victory against former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. Meanwhile, Alex Pereira recently clinched the light heavyweight title at UFC 295, held earlier this month at Madison Square Garden. He achieved this with a stunning second-round knockout of former titleholder Jiri Prochazka in New York City.
After his win over Usman, Chimaev initially targeted a middleweight championship bout with Sean Strickland. However, an injury to Strickland has led to a change in plans. Consequently, Chimaev is now slated to fight Dricus du Plessis for the undisputed middleweight title at UFC 297, set for January next year in Toronto, Canada.
Khamzat Chimaev Wants Alex Pereira Next
Despite this upcoming engagement, Chimaev’s focus seems to have shifted to the light heavyweight division. His previous issues with making weight in the welterweight class, which led to a cancelled fight with UFC veteran Nate Diaz, might be influencing this decision. On his social media, Chimaev tagged Dana White in a post, featuring a photo of himself and Pereira, and wrote, “@danawhite let me finish him.”
As for Pereira, his first title defence is scheduled for 2024. He is expected to face former Light Heavyweight champ, Jamahal Hill, marking his return to the Octagon. Chimaev’s challenge adds an intriguing twist to the light heavyweight division’s future matchups.
Featured image credits to Embed from Getty Images