Magomed Ankalaev eyes title fight with Alex Pereira with UFC Vegas 84 win: ‘No one is more deserving than me’

Magomed Ankalaev eyes title fight with Alex Pereira after UFC Vegas 84 no one is more deserving

Former vacant light heavyweight title challenger, Magomed Ankalaev has staked his claim for a another title siege with a victory over Johnny Walker in their UFC Vegas 84 this weekend, claiming no other contender at 205 pounds deserves a shot at championship holder, Alex Pereira more than him.

Ankalaev, the current number three ranked light heavyweight contender, most recently featured on the main card of UFC 294 back in October, fighting to an official ‘No Contest’ against the aforementioned, Walker, after landing an illegal knee in the opening round which left the Brazilian unable to continue.

Magomed Ankalaev eyes Alex Pereira fight after UFC Vegas 84

Returning this weekend in the main event of UFC Vegas 84 in a rematch with Walker, Ankalaev, who fought to a split decision draw with Jan Blachowicz in a vacant title fight back in 2022, has staked his claim for a shot at Pereira’s throne with a win over his compatriot. 

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“Basically, if I win this fight [against Johnny Walker at UFC Vegas 84], there is nobody else who deserves the title run more than I do,” Magomed Ankalaev told MMA Junkie

Suffering just a single Octagon loss in the form of a buzzer-beating submission defeat to Paul Craig in his Octagon bow back in 2018, in the time since, Ankalaev has landed notable wins over the likes of Nikita Krylov, as well as former championship challenging trio, Volkan Oezdemir, Thiago Santos, and Anthony Smith. 

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Winning the vacant light heavyweight crown and adding to prior middleweight divisional success, Sao Paulo knockout artist, Pereira stopped former champion, Jiri Prochazka with a second round TKO last November at Madison Square Garden in the main event of UFC 295

Pereira has been linked with a massive comeback atop a UFC 300 card in April in recent weeks, however, has yet to officially book his comeback to the Octagon amid links to fights with both Israel Adesanya, and interim heavyweight titleholder, Tom Aspinall. 

Who wins in a future title pairing: Alex Pereira or Magomed Ankalaev?