Still the Only Man to Defeat Alex Pereira, Quemuel Ottoni Excited for PFL Debut in 2023
After welcoming Alex Pereira to mixed martial arts with a rear-naked choke victory at Jungle Fight 82 in 2015, Quemuel Ottoni followed a totally different path than the current UFC middleweight champion.
While “Poatan” decided to focus on his kickboxing career and won Glory belt in two divisions, Ottoni kept on the MMA track, capturing the Jungle Fight welterweight title seven years after defeating Pereira. Now, Ottoni is excited to compete at 170 pounds for Professional Fighters League in 2023.
“I've waited a long time to have my chance to fight in the United States, where everything happens, and I'll finally have that chance,” he told Sherdog.com.
Quemuel considers the point system of PFL the best for his style.
"I love the point system of PFL [because it is] based on meritocracy. The most impressive wins get more points, and that's really good for an offensive fighter like me,” he said. “I´m working harder than ever to bring my best version to my debut in February.”
Ottoni is currently training jiu-jitsu with Demian Maia and striking at Revira gym, where Pereira used to train. He can´t wait to show his new tools in PFL and has already targeted a dream match in the promotion.
"I´m working hard with Demian on my ground skills and with Revira on my striking,” he said. “And if I could choose an opponent, no doubt it would be Rory Mcdonald. I heard he retired, but I think he is still young and has a lot to show. I followed him since UFC and facing him in PFL would be like a dream match to me.”
Ottoni was surprised to see Pereira upset Israel Adesanya to claim middleweight gold in the UFC 281 main event.
"I gave some interviews calling Israel the favorite. Actually I thought ‘Poatan’ would have his best chance in the first three rounds and after that, the fight would get tougher for him, but ‘Poatan’ proved I was wrong,” Ottoni said. “He got stronger in the fourth and decided the fight in the fifth round. That result was great for me, since I´m still the only man to beat him in MMA.”
While recognizing Pereira’s merits, Ottoni advised him to train hard with Glover Teixeira to correct the holes in his game.
"He must correct his tendency to give up the back while standing up as soon as possible, otherwise he may have problems with other guys in the division like [Robert] Whittaker, [Paulo Costa] and [Khamzat] Chimaev. I would say Chimaev would be the toughest challenge for him now. But Glover is the best guy to help him to correct that as soon as possible.”
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