Former Title Challenger Magomed Ankalaev wants to welcome Alex Pereira to his first fight in the UFC light heavyweight division

Alex Pereira hopes to have a fresh start in UFC when he moves up to the light heavyweight division. He decided after he lost the UFC Middleweight Championship by knockout to Israel Adesanya at UFC 287 on April 8. While fans immediately called for a rematch, Pereira announced he would move up a weight class. 

After his immediate success in the middleweight division, some UFC fans believe Alex Pereira will succeed better at light heavyweight. One of the factors is that the former middleweight champion wouldn’t have to cut so much weight and would be healthier. 

Alex Pereira, Israel Adesanya
Image: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Since Alex Pereira announced that he would move up a weight class, fighters like UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jamahal Hill and Jan Blachowicz have called him out for a fight. 

Magomed Ankalaev has also added himself as a possible opponent, as he challenged the former UFC Middleweight Champion on Twitter on May 4. The former light heavyweight title challenger is looking to bounce back from a split draw in his bout against Blachowicz at UFC 282 on Dec. 10, 2022. 

https://twitter.com/AnkalaevM/status/1654132477915430912

“Hey @ufc, I’m hungry give me a work to do. @JanBlachowicz, if you’re ready for another fight, show signs of life! If not, I’ll be more than happy to welcome Pereira to the new weight division and show that there are different levels in this game,” wrote Magomed Ankalaev. 

Alex Pereira & Israel Adesanya
Image: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Who Will Alex Pereira Fight Next?

Alex Pereira seemingly has different options for who his next fight will be against. However, despite the champion’s request, it will unlikely be against Hill for the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. At the UFC on ESPN 44 Post-Fight Conference, UFC President Dana White dismissed the idea of Pereira fighting for a light heavyweight title in his next fight. 

“…You put him in title contention in that he has to beat somebody to even be considered in title contention. He’s got to move to 205 and beat a real guy, so that’s what we are looking at right now, getting him a real guy,” said White.

Blachowicz is also looking to fight Adesanya at middleweight, so it’s unclear if he’s fully committed to staying at light heavyweight. The best fight for Pereira to get a title opportunity in the 205 division is facing Ankalaev. 

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