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Magomed Ankalaev: Alex Pereira Kept Away from Me for A Reason



More than halfway into 2024, top contender Magomed Ankalaev has vowed to knock out UFC light heavyweight champ Alex Pereira before the year ends.

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Ankalaev is the only one of top contenders in the division who hasn’t fallen prey to Pereira. After recently defeating former champ Jiri Prochazka for the second time at UFC 303, Pereira will most likely face Ankalaev next.

However, Ankalaev has been levelling shots at Pereira since “Poatan” merely asked Anthony Joshua’s to suggest potential opponents for a future boxing move.

“[Alex Pereira] kept away from me for a reason, and I do understand this is business,” Ankalaev wrote on X. “[In the UFC the] best fight the best, and he is the best for now. I will keep my work. I will knock him out. [Mick Maynard] [Dana White] nothing better than you’ve seen an event somebody going to sleep.”



Ankalaev has also consistently downplayed Pereira’s proven knockout power. Despite being a seasoned grappler, Ankalaev is willing to stand up with Pereira and vows to knock out the former Glory kickboxing champ by the end of the year.

“End of the year he’ll be laying on his back looking at the light and ask his corner, are we back in Brazil,” Ankalaev wrote. “This is a promise. I will knock him out.”




Pereira’s UFC 303 win over Prochazka marked his second successful light heavyweight title defense — all via knockout. In an unprecedented rise to stardom, “Poatan” has now fought in five UFC title fights, winning four of those bouts in less than three years.

Meanwhile, Ankalaev recently had to overcome an unlucky stretch despite being undefeated since a last-minute upset loss against Paul Craig in his UFC debut in 2018. Ankalaev’s bid at the vacant title was foiled by a split draw against Jan Blachowicz at UFC 282 in December 2022. His next outing against Johnny Walker in October 2023 ended in an unfortunate no contest due to an illegal knee from the Russian. Ankalaev settled the Walker rivalry with a second=round TKO win in their rematch this past January.

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