"It's weird to see" - Chris Weidman compares Alex Pereira's wrestling "deficiency" to Ben Askren's striking skills 

Chris Weidman compares Alex Pereira
Chris Weidman (inset) compares Alex Pereira's (right) fighting arsenal with UFC veteran Ben Askren (left) [Image courtesy: @chrisweidman and @ alexpoatanpereira on Instagram; Getty Images]

Chris Weidman has raised doubts about Alex Pereira's well-roundedness as a fighter, specifically his wrestling.

Pereira, the reigning light heavyweight champion, recently defended his title with a first-round knockout victory. Despite Pereira's impressive run, capturing titles in two divisions within the UFC, Weidman believes Pereira has a significant weakness in wrestling.

Weidman compared the Brazilian champ's situation to former champion Ben Askren, known for his elite grappling but limited striking. Speaking to Michael Bisping on a recent episode of his BELIEVE YOU Me, 'The All-American' had this to say:

“It’s hard for me to get fully behind Pereira because I do see such an opening with the wrestling, and he hasn’t really fought wrestlers… It’s almost like Ben Askren coming into the UFC and being able to just become a multiple-time champion with no hands... I mean, the guy had an unbelievable MMA career and he had no striking at all... This guy’s [Alex Pereira] almost the opposite. I would almost say he’s as bad (at) wrestling as Ben Askren is with striking.”

He further added:

“This guy [Alex Pereira] may go down as one of the best fighters of all time, It is weird to see. I don’t know if it’s just the matchups or the evolution of the sport.” [H/t: MMA Junkie]

Check out Chris Weidman's interview below:


Alex Pereira rejects Magomed Ankalaev's Abu Dhabi callout, wants to fight sooner

Alex Pereira is eyeing a return to the octagon sooner rather than later. Despite Magomed Ankalaev's public challenge for a title fight at UFC 308 in Abu Dhabi this October, Pereira desires a quicker matchup.

Following Pereira's dominant win against Jamahal Hill at UFC 300, Ankalaev expressed confidence in dethroning the champion via first-round knockout. He subsequently called for a title clash at UFC 308.

However, in a recent episode of MMA Fighting’s Trocação Franca podcast, Pereira shut down Ankalaev's proposed timeline:

"I don't want to fight at the end of the year. I want to fight sooner, so maybe that shows he won't be ready. I don't know why he said that. This guy is complicated. Honestly, I have to see what's best. I'm here to fight, but I don't understand best about other things like where is best [to fight] and where isn't. If I have to fight there, I will, but if it's not a date I want, then it's not best for me. I can say no." [h/t MMA Fighting]

While Pereira acknowledges Ankalaev as a potential challenger, especially after Ankalaev's knockout of Johnny Walker, the champion isn't keen on waiting until October.

Pereira expects to be cleared for training in early May after recovering from a double toe fracture sustained before and during his UFC 300 fight.

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