UFC “BMF” champion Jorge Masvidal seems to be headed toward a massive rematch against Nate Diaz in his next fight but not if rising welterweight contender Michel Pereira gets his way. The 27-year-old Brazilian dominated Zelim Imadaev on Saturday night during the latest UFC Fight Night card at UFC APEX in Las Vegas. After his big win, Pereira used his post-fight interview time with ESPN to declare himself next in line for “BMF” gold.
“Dana White, Sean Shelby, I want the BMF belt. Jorge Masvidal, beware. You are next,” Pereira said.
You can watch Pereira’s callout below.
Pereira Made Strong Case on Saturday Night
Even if Pereira only ends up being a backup plan for UFC officials as they try to lure Masvidal and Diaz back into the Octagon together, the 170-pound menace made quite the case for himself as one of the better options out there.
Pereira was impressive in the fight, and he even went so far as to add a little flavor to one of Diaz’s most recognizable moves during the contest.
You can watch Pereira perform his own version of Diaz’s famous “Stockton Slap” below.
And that wasn’t even the only antic that stole the show.
Rather, it was many like it that simply had to have hurled Pereira into the hearts and minds of some MMA fans who hadn’t seen him fight before.
Pereira was on point. So much so, about the only time his opponent seemed to have any hope in the fight at all was when the two got into a little bit of a scuffle between rounds.
In the end, Pereira scored the submission win in the third round after a dominating performance. It was so one-sided that most people didn’t even mind that the referee probably shouldn’t have stopped the fight at that point.
Judging by the replay, Imadaev might never have actually tapped out in the fight.
Will Pereira Replace Diaz in UFC’s Plans for Masvidal?
As solid a showing as Pereira had over the weekend, it’s still unlikely he would have the pull with UFC officials and MMA fans in general to spoil the company’s big plans for a “BMF” title rematch in December.
Per ESPN, that’s the fight UFC president Dana White wants to happen next.
It makes sense. Masvidal defeated Diaz at UFC 244 in November 2019 but that fight was mired in controversy because it was halted by the ringside physician due to cuts around Diaz’s eye.
Diaz has won plenty of fights with cuts around his eyes. Some people aren’t so sure he wouldn’t have done the same to Masvidal had the doctor let the fight continue.
Now the two fighters could meet again in a superfight rematch, though this time both would enter the fray bonafide pay-per-view stars.
Diaz has been one of the biggest superstars in the sport for years now. Meanwhile, Masvidal has parlayed his recent success into becoming one, too.
So Pereira’s best hope for getting his “BMF” title shot against Masvidal would probably be that negotiations fall through for the targeted rematch between Masvidal and Diaz.
Regardless, Pereira’s epic performance on Saturday night would seem to have made him a viable dance partner for just about any top 170-pound contender in the sport.
He looked that good, that violent and that fun.
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