Michel Pereira Explains Decision To Slap Zelim Imadaev During UFC Vegas 9 Clash

Chris Unger - Zuffa LLC

Always the entertainer, Michel ‘Demolidor’ Pereira managed a comfortable victory over Russian striker, Zelim Imadaev last night at UFC Fight Night Vegas 9 – scoring a late, albeit controversial rear-naked choke win. On his way to his eventual third-round submission stoppage, Pereira mixed in a wide array strikes – even scoring a volley of open hand slaps against Imadaev midway through the bout.

Displaying his very own variation of the ‘Stockton Slap’ – or the ‘Pará Slap’, Pereira, who was involved in a heated exchange with Imadaev at Friday’s staredowns, in which Imadaev slapped him, explained to reporters last night at the post-fight press conference why he decided to throw some open-handed strikes of his own.

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I don’t know why exactly he did this (stare down slap),” Pereira said. “But, I told him I would pay him back, and I did during the fight. I’m a man. You cannot slap my face. I did show my hand, I kissed my hand. I slapped to him so he can learn he’s not going to do it again. He cannot do that.

Pereira, scored a late rear-naked choke win, with replays actually detailing how Imadaev hadn’t actually tapped, before referee Chris Tognoni separated the two. The Brazilian set up the submission with a massive suplex, before taking Imadaev’s back, and sinking in the choke, but admitted he didn’t feel Imadaev submit.

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I didn’t feel when he tapped, but the position was very, very tight,” Pereira explained. “In that case, he would tap or he would sleep.

Calling for a BMF championship challenge opposite current holder, Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal in his next outing, Pereira improved to 24-11 with his stoppage of Imadaev. Although that matchup is highly unlikely for the time being, with the promotion currently targeting a BMF title rematch between Masvidal, and the would-be returning Nate Diaz for a UFC 257 event in January instead – Pereira spoke of how big a fight between himself and Masvidal would be an exciting matchup for onlooking fans.

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I’m always doing my best when I fight the best guys, and I’m pretty sure (Jorge) Masvidal is one of them,” Pereira told. “And, if we fight, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be (a) huge, huge show for everybody. The fans would love it if we fight. If he doesn’t respect me, yes, I would slap him. But I just want to fight the best, and I’m sure we’d give a huge show for the fans.” (H/T MMA Mania)

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.