Darren Till thinks Alex Pereira would be wise to accept an immediate rematch with Israel Adesanya rather than put his newly-acquired middleweight title on the line against Khamzat Chimaev.
Khamzat called out Pereira following the Brazilian’s upset TKO victory over Adesanya this past month at UFC 281, pleading with the UFC to book the matchup in 2023, preferably in Brazil.
But Liverpool’s Till, who trains with Khamzat in Sweden, thinks Pereira should avoid the matchup at all costs. ‘The Gorilla’ feels ‘Poatan’ is too inexperienced on the ground and that ‘Borz’ would take him down ‘within 30 seconds’ and finish him there with ease.
“His wrestling is, you know, obviously, he’s young in the sport,” Till said of Pereira (7-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) in a recent interview with Michael Bisping (h/t BJPenn.com). “I mean, I’ve seen that Khamzat called him out and I was like, oh my God, Khamzat will definitely take him down within 30 seconds. Okay, it’s a fight but, like that’s not a fight that Pereira is ready for.”
Pereira was fast-tracked to a UFC title shot after just three fights in the promotion, having avoided any wrestling threats during his ascent to the top. He is considered one of the most dangerous strikers in MMA while Khamzat is touted as one of the best wrestlers in the sport, having manhandled the likes of Kevin Holland and Li Jingliang, neither of whom made it out of the first round.
Pereira is currently #1 at middleweight, while Khamzat is #3 at welterweight. Both men are undefeated in the UFC.