UFC champ Alex Pereira thinks Jiri Prochazka most likely next in line: ‘Ankalaev is going to have to wait’

UFC light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira expects to run things back with Jiri Prochazka next.

Pereira (10-2 MMA, 7-1 UFC) notched his first title defense when he knocked out Jamahal Hill in the UFC 300 headliner. On the same night, Prochazka finished Aleksandar Rakic, rebounding from his title loss to Pereira at UFC 295.

Top contender Magomed Ankalaev (19-1-1 MMA, 10-1-1 UFC), who’s coming off a knockout of Johnny Walker in January, is campaigning for a title shot. However, it appears he won’t be getting his wish.

“Breaking news,” Pereira said through an interpreter during a UFC 301 media scrum (h/t MMA Fighting). “I think if I wait for (Ankalaev vs. Prochazka), it will take too long. I want to fight earlier than that.

“And I think, as far as we know, most likely the next in line is going to be Prochazka. Ankalaev is going to have to wait a little bit. I know Jamahal Hill’s been talking some trash, but is also going to have to wait a little longer. I think Prochazka’s the next one.”

Pereira’s choice comes based on timing, and his willingness to jump into another training camp soon.

“We told them when we want to fight,” Pereira said. “Nothing about nobody yet – we don’t know. But they said due to the time frame, most likely it’s going to be Prochazka. But anyone out there that wants to fight, we’ll go with it.

Prochazka (30-4-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) called out Pereira after knocking out Rakic. He was unhappy with the stoppage in his loss to Pereira this past November, thinking referee Marc Goddard intervened too early.

But “Poatan” doesn’t expect a different version of Prochazka if they rematch.

“I don’t think he will show up too much of a different fighter because compared to my evolution that I’ve had in just a few MMA fights, he has over 20 fights,” Pereira said. “He’s been fighting for a long time.

“I think for every fighter, you get to that point that you start evolving less due to the mileage that you have in this game due to the amount of fights they have and experience. So I think I’m going to evolve more from the previous fight than he does.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie