Pereira (28-11) picked up his fifth win in a row on Saturday night, besting Santiago Ponzinibbio via split decision. Ponzinibbio entered the Octagon as the No. 14th-ranked 170 pounder, according to the official UFC rankings, so when the standings update next week, Pereira will likely break into the division’s top 15.
While speaking with the media during the UFC Fight Night 206 post-fight press conference, Pereira was asked who he wanted to fight next. Pereira had two names on his mind, Masvidal and Nate Diaz.
Pereira is eyeing a fight with Diaz because he sees the scrap being “really fun.” But the Brazilian has a more personal reason for wanting to fight Masvidal.
“I really want to fight Nate Diaz because I think it’d be really fun to slap each other around. I think it’d be a really fun fight. I think we (would) put on a show for all the fans,” Demolidor said through an interpreter via MMA News.
“And also, Jorge Masvidal because I have a little bit of a problem with him, and I want to settle it.”
Pereira Said Masvidal Sent His Wife the Prayer-Hands Emoji, Wants to Settle Score In the Cage
Demolidor clarified what his “problem” is with Masvidal. Pereira said that “Gamebred” messaged his wife a prayer-hands emoji and for that, Demolidor wants to meet him in the Octagon to help “understand” Masvidal’s motive.
“So he sent an emoji to my wife, the emoji with the two hands together like (‘amen’),” Pereira said. “He sent it to my wife and didn’t send it to me. And you know, I never actually crossed paths with him, never had the chance to ask him.
“So I figured, you know, I really want to understand, but might as well understand inside the Octagon. So we’ll just settle it over there.”
Pereira Is Changing Tune on Fighting at the UFC Apex Center
The biggest gripe many UFC fighters have with competing at the UFC Apex Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, is the lack of crowd. The facility does have seats for fans, but it’s nothing compared to a sold-out arena.
When Pereira fights next, he wants to entertain as many fans as possible. However, he’s starting to enjoy his time competing at the UFC headquarters.
“I really don’t like fighting [without] that many people,” Pereira said. “Because I always said I fight for the fans. I want to put on a show. Imagine if this fight was in front of fans. Imagine the spectacle that we would put out for them. Of course, next time I really would like to fight in front of fans. But, the energy here was really good tonight and I’m starting to like it. I didn’t like it, but I’m starting to like it because the energy here, even though it was [a] limited crowd, it was really good. And I’m starting to like this feeling.”
Pereira vs. Ponzinibbio earned “Fight of the Night” honors on Saturday, which granted each fighter an extra $50,000.