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UFC Champ Alex Pereira Reissues $50K Gym Challenge to Anthony Smith, Vows Charity Donation

Kevin Binoy

UFC Champ Alex Pereira Reissues $50K Gym Challenge to Anthony Smith, Vows Charity Donation

UFC light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira wants more than just title defenses. The 36-year-old wants to remain active and test all facets of his game as evidenced by his challenge issued to Anthony Smith. ‘Poatan’ and Smith have agreed on a $50,000 grappling match. However, Pereira is growing frustrated by Smith’s lack of urgency.

Given Pereira’s relative inexperience in wrestling and grappling, Smith had asserted he could defeat the Brazilian on the mat. This comment sparked the beginning of the conflict.

The former kickboxer is now a two-weight UFC world champion and is being considered for a third title matchup at heavyweight versus Jon Jones, having fought just 12 times. Smith believes that despite his recent success Pereira has not faced elite grapplers in the sport. This led to a bet where Pereira would give the American his back and start a five-minute bout on the ground

Poatan’ took to his Instagram to share a message aimed at Smith. He said,

“Someone tell this guy that the bet is real, I’m not talking about fighting at an event because I don’t need to promote myself! I’m talking about booking in a gym and the bet would be there because if you wait to fight me at an event it would probably be difficult to happen, I was out of action for a month because I broke both of my toes, so I only need a month for me recover some of my cardio.”

Alex Pereira is currently on a three-fight win streak. He will most likely take on Magomed Ankalaev before the end of this year, despite wanting to move up a weight class to become the company’s first three-division champion.

In the meantime, a grappling match with Anthony Smith sounds like a side quest he would very much like to conquer.

A closer look at the challenge between Alex Pereira and Anthony Smith

According to reports, Alex Pereira is targeting a return before the end of the year. The front-runner to take on Pereira is Magomed Ankalaev. Training for Smith in a grappling match will not only help Pereira prove a point, but it will also help him immensely in his fight against Anakalev.

But right now, Poatan seems to be taking this Smith fight more personally.

In the message posted on social media, Pereira also bashed Smith for wanting to spend the $50,000 on vain material things. Pereira instead stated that he would use the money to buy food for the needy. Now, it will be interesting to see if this bout between the two men actually takes place.

About the author

Kevin Binoy

Kevin Binoy

With more than two years of devoted experience in the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) industry, Kevin Binoy is an accomplished MMA journalist. His love of combat sports and his deep knowledge of the tactics and background of mixed martial arts (MMA) enable him to analyze fights and present his readers a distinct viewpoint. Throughout his writing career, Kevin has contributed to a number of reputable outlets.

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