Poatan rejects Ankalaev's challenge for fight in Abu Dhabi and looks for another place to defend UFC belt

Brazilian reports desire to 'fight first' in Ultimate and reveals that he can 'say no' when he understands that a fight is not advantageous

Amid the heat of speculation about his next engagement, Alex Poatán cooled public expectations regarding the fight against Magomed Ankalayev in Abu Dhabi for the light heavyweight belt (up to 93kg.) UFC.

The Brazilian champion, who recently knocked out Jamahal hill No. UFC 300, was reticent about the idea of ​​facing the Russian on Arab territory, throwing cold water on Ankalaev's ambitions of performing in his “second home”.

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“I don’t want to fight at the end of the year, I want to fight before. So maybe this shows he won't be ready. I don't know why he said that, this guy is complicated. I have to see what is best. I'm here to fight, but I don't really understand other things like where it's better to fight and where it's not. If I have to fight there, I will. But if it's not a date I want, then it's not what's best for me. I can say no”, said Poatan, in an interview with the podcast 'Trocação Franca'.

Poatan's refusal to fight in Abu Dhabi puts Ankalaev in a tight spot. The Russian, who had been promoting himself as the ideal challenger for the light heavyweight belt, will now have to adapt to the champion's plans if he really wants to challenge for the title.

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The situation also opens up space for speculation that Poatan is looking for an opponent on Brazilian or North American soil, aiming for the support of the fans.

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