Alex Pereira tabs Jiří Procházka, not Magomed Ankalaev, for next LHW title defense

By Curtis Calhoun - May 2, 2024

UFC light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira wants a rematch with Jiří Procházka over a potential clash with surging contender Magomed Ankalaev.

Jiří Procházka, Alex Pereira

Pereira claimed in a recent media scrum in Rio de Janeiro that he’s likely set to face Procházka next instead of Ankalaev. MMA Fighting‘s Guilherme Cruz was among the first to report the news of Pereira’s intended next title defense.

Pereira also told reporters that a date is still in the works for his next fight, although he’s hoping for a summer return.

Pereira defeated Jamahal Hill in the UFC 300 main event last month after defeating Procházka for the then-vacant light heavyweight belt in November. He’s unbeaten at 205lbs after making the full-time move from middleweight last year.

Magomed Ankalaev continues to wait for Alex Pereira fight

Ankalaev recently called to face Pereira at UFC 308 in October, although that request was quickly declined by the light heavyweight titleholder. UFC 308 takes place in Abu Dhabi, which would likely be a fan-friendly advantage for Ankalaev.

Ankalaev challenged for the then-vacant UFC light heavyweight title against Jan Blachowicz at UFC 282. The fight went to a split draw.

After losing to Pereira by knockout at UFC 295, Procházka earned a statement win against Aleksandar Rakić at UFC 300. He could potentially face Pereira for the belt or in a No. 1 contender fight against either Hill or Ankalaev.

Pereira’s UFC success is unprecedented. Just 12 fights into his professional MMA career, he’s earned two UFC belts, the fastest to accomplish that feat.

The former two-division Glory Kickboxing champion Pereira has won six of his eight UFC fights by knockout. The only two fights that went the distance were decision victories over Blachowicz and Bruno Silva.

The UFC light heavyweight title picture continues to fascinate, and Pereira seems intent on running it back with Procházka. In the meantime, Ankalaev might have to wait at least a few more months before his desired title shot.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Alex Pereira Jiri Prochazka Magomed Ankalaev UFC