Newly-crowned middleweight champion Alex Pereira's next opponent is rumored to be Khamzat Chimaev, with the latter repeatedly calling 'Poatan' out. Pereira has now responded on Instagram with a hilarious meme.
Since Chimaev's weight-cutting fiasco at UFC 278, which forced him out of the main event against Nate Diaz, the Russian-born Swede has been tipped to move up to the middleweight division. He also expressed his intention to move up by tweeting out "170".
Khamzat Chimaev ramped up his pursuit of a middleweight fight after Pereira's third victory across combat sports over Israel Adesanya.
In a first, 'Poatan' took to Instagram to share a clip from the 2004 Chinese action-comedy movie Kung Fu Hustle.
Pereira shared the English-dubbed clip with the caption:
"Chimaev choosing an opponent" [translation via Instagram]
In the scene from Kung Fu Hustle, the protagonist Sing (Stephen Chow) cycles through a gathered crowd looking for an opponent. Each selection he makes turns out to be more formidable than he anticipated, forcing him to turn each of them away.
Check out Pereira's Instagram post below:
Watch the scene from Kung Fu Hustle in high definition on YouTube:
John McCarthy advocates against the UFC booking Alex Pereira vs. Khamzat Chimaev
Veteran UFC referee John McCarthy gave his take on Alex Pereira potentially putting his middleweight championship on the line against Khamzat Chimaev.
'Big John' explained why the matchup could be lopsided due to Chimaev's superiority on the canvas:
"That's not exactly the person [Chimaev] you want to jump the line and put into a championship fight against a guy like Alex Pereira. Wrestling is gonna be his weakness, stand-up is his game. When he's fighting someone like 'Izzy' - Adesanya, you can say that makes sense in that fight."
He also explained how the narrative of Alex Pereira beating Israel Adesanya would immediately fizzle out if he was beaten in his first title defense by Khamzat Chimaev:
"If you're the UFC, why would you want a guy who just beat one of your superstars to lose right away? I would watch the fight but makes more sense for them to put Israel Adesanya [against Pereira] instead of handing it to Chimaev."
Watch John McCarthy's complete comments on the segment of Weighing In: