Michel Pereira blasts ‘scared’ UFC middleweights for refusing fights, done calling out opponents

RIO DE JANEIRO — Michel Pereira is tired of asking for big-name UFC opponents.

Riding a seven-fight winning streak ahead of his UFC 301 fight with Ihor Potieria this Saturday, Pereira told MMA Fighting that he will no longer call out specific names after hearing so many refusals.

“You ask for something and it might work, but I’ve always asked and it never worked,” Pereira said. “But if you ask and stay ready — I won seven in a row and we have a nice name now, if the opportunity comes, they will put you in. You don’t need to keep asking anymore. I renewed my contract with the UFC and told them, ‘Boss, every time I fight, it’s a bonus-worthy fight. So let’s adjust the numbers because that means I’m doing a good job.’”

Pereira complained that the middleweight division is “a mess with so many scared little stars” refusing to face each other, and responded to criticism regarding the relatively undistinguished opponent he’s facing at UFC 301.

“The first opponent didn’t agree [to fight me] and a second one got injured,” Pereira said. “That’s why I was out for so long, because of shit like this. I don’t know why they’re like that, man. We just saw ‘Poatan’ [Alex Pereira] fight with a broken toe. They break their nails and cry about it. F*ck off, man.”

“If you do a good job and they like you, and you’re not this little star that handpicks fights, they’ll always have a fight for you,” he continued. “I’m getting paid regardless if I’m fighting a ranked opponent or not. I was away for a year and a half, I was broke. Now that it’s time for me to make money, they say, ‘F*ck, they only put you against tomato cans.’ I’m like, ‘How about when I was broke?’ I have to fight, man. It’s time for me to make money. Let me fight. I’ll fight the best of the division when it’s time. Let me make my money now. When I was broke, you didn’t wire me any money, so let me fight and make my money and put on my show, do the shit I always do.’”

Potieria has gone 2-3 thus far in the UFC. He finished Robert Bryczek in his most recent appearance. Pereira doesn’t agree with oddsmakers that have Potieria as a +400 underdog.

“He’s not that weak,” Pereira said. “They’re thinking I’m fighting some random street fighter?No, this guy is good.”

Potieria’s first octagon victory was a first-round knockout of MMA legend Mauricio Rua at Farmasi Arena, the same venue where he meets Pereira on Saturday.

Pereira wants to stop him from scoring another victory over a Brazilian fan favorite.

“I saw the video of his fight with ‘Shogun’ yesterday and the moment he did a dance after knocking him out,” Pereira said. “I feel I’m on a mission to beat this guy, because every time he comes here and beats the Brazilians. I have to go crazy on him, because if he comes here and beats me, then he’s the Brazilian killer.”

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