Magomed Ankalaev after UFC 303: ‘I will knock out Alex Pereira. I do not need to take him down’

Magomed Ankalaev is confident he can knock out UFC light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira.

Pereira (11-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) notched his second title defense by knocking out Jiri Prochazka in this past Saturday’s UFC 303 headliner at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

UFC CEO Dana White said he’s open to making Pereira vs. Ankalaev next, and the Russian said he won’t need to resort to his grappling to take out the former two-division Glory Kickboxing champion.

Guys believe me everyone, I will knock out @AlexPereiraUFC I do not need to take him down, this guy his chin is gone but I know he is very dangerous.”

Ankalaev (19-1-1 MMA, 10-1-1 UFC) is unbeaten in his past 12 fights, most recently knocking out Johnny Walker in January. He thinks he’s earned another title opportunity and promises to be “Poatan’s” toughest challenge.

“All these guys in the top 5 have been knocked out, I’m the best light heavyweight on the planet none of these guys are on my level and now I get to fight the champion and I believe he is not that scared of me like other ones.”

“2 years ago Alex Pereira was not ready to fight with me but I believe today he is the hardest fight in the division for me and I’m the hardest fight in the division for him.”

Ankalaev also dismissed Jamahal Hill’s claim that he can’t compete in the United States and is willing to fight Pereira anywhere.

“Abu Dhabi Saudi Arabia, New York Vegas doesn’t matter anywhere anytime by KO be ready Alex.”

When asked about a potential fight against Ankalaev, Pereira said he doesn’t turn anybody down.

“Everybody deserves, but I’m not the guy to ask,” Pereira told reporters at the UFC 303 post-fight press conference. “They got to talk to Dana White. … Anybody.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 303.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie