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‘Poatan’ wants to keep active. 

A little over a week ago, Alex Pereira confirmed his status as one of the most effective finishers in mixed martial arts by securing a conclusive first-round finish of former champion Jamahal Hill to further enshrine his status as the world’s best 205-pound fighter.

It is expected that his next title defence will come against the number two contender Magomed Ankalaev, who in January confirmed his status as top contender with a second-round knockout of Johnny Walker.

Soon after Pereira’s UFC 300 win, Ankalaev took to social media to vow a first-round knockout of the Brazilian champion when they meet in the cage, suggesting UFC 308 in Abu Dhabi in late October as the ideal venue for the clash.

However, that timeline doesn’t appeal to the champion.

“I don’t want to fight at the end of the year,” he said, via MMA Fighting. “I want to fight sooner, so maybe that shows he won’t be ready. I don’t know why he said that.”

He added: “This guy is complicated,. Honestly, I have to see what’s best. I’m here to fight, but I don’t understand best about other things like where is best [to fight] and where isn’t. If I have to fight there, I will, but if it’s not a date I want, then it’s not best for me. I can say no.”

It remains to be seen if Ankalaev would commit to a nearer date or if Abu Dhabi, which is typically an attractive venue for fighters associated with Russia, is his preferred option.

But Ankalaev, whose record stands at an impressive 19-1-1 (1), finds himself in a good position in the rankings given that Pereira holds victories over the first and third ranked fighters (Jiri Prochazka, Hill) as well as the former champion Jan Blachowicz, who is ranked fourth currently.