Sunday MMA Quick Hits: Oliveira Responds to 297 Rumor, Pereira to Hall of Fame

Charles Oliveira, UFC
Charles Oliveira, UFC 289 post-fight Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

Charles Oliveira has responded to a report that the UFC’s plan is to have him face Islam Makhachev at UFC 297 in Toronto, while Alex Pereira is being inducted into the Hall of Fame. The GLORY Kickboxing Hall of Fame, that is. All that in more in your Sunday MMA Quick Hits for November 5, 2023!

Alex Pereira Headed to GLORY Hall of Fame

Former GLORY and UFC middleweight champion Alex Pereira is headed to the GLORY Hall of Fame. Promotion officials made the announcement during Saturday’s GLORY Collision 6 broadcast, which saw Rico Verhoeven defeat “Cookie” Osaro seemingly with ease.

Pereira had a decorated kickboxing career before following rival Israel Adesanya to MMA and the UFC, so this announcement isn’t a huge surprise.

“Alex Pereira was one of the greatest champions in GLORY history,” said Scott Rudmann, co-founder and Vice Chairman of GLORY, in a press release issued following the announcement. “His accomplishments in the GLORY ring speaks for themselves, as the only man ever hold the champions belt in two weight classes simultaneously. Alex continues to make huge waves in combat sports with his successful shift to MMA, and he continues to bring awareness back to the stand-up combat. He devotes time and money to community service in his home country of Brazil, and he is a wonderful guy, always humble about his enormous accomplishments. We’re proud to have in the GLORY Hall of Fame.”

Pereira holds the GLORY record for most title defenses in GLORY middleweight history, was a tournament winner, and held both the middleweight and light heavyweight titles in the company.

Charles Oliveira Reacts to UFC 297 Rumors with Apparent Surprise

Charles Oliveira fighting Islam Makhachev at UFC 297 in Toronto this January? That’s news to him, although he isn’t ruling it out.

The rumor was floated by Ariel Helwani on social media on Saturday. With Raquel Pennington vs. Mayra Bueno Silva for the vacant UFC women’s bantamweight title already booked for Toronto, it’s likely the event will feature a second title fight.

The original plan was Volkanovski vs. Topuria, but with the Australian featherweight champ suffering a head kick loss to Makhachev last month, a little extra time off isn’t a bad thing. Plus, it’s likely the UFC will be back in Australia in February, and with Israel Adesanya taking a sabbatical, the promotion may want Volk available for that card.

So “Do Bronx” vs. Islam in Toronto makes sense, and would no doubt make bank. Oliveira’s response? “We just heard this from the locker room,” Oliveira said on the UFC Sao Paulo pre-show on Saturday (h/t MMA Junkie). “People were asking us on the messages about getting it. This is the first time we heard about it. That’s the timeline, January maybe. So who knows?”

Oliveira has fought in Canada several times and picked up a win over Beneil Dariush at UFC 289 in Vancouver this past June. The crowd was hot for the Brazilian star, so the UFC could be looking to capitalize on his popularity in the Great White North. He had been booked in a rematch with Makhachev, who defeated him to claim lightweight gold, at UFC 294 last month, but withdrew after suffering a cut in training.

Jon Anik Interested in Seeing Matt Brown vs. Jake Paul

UFC play-by-play man Jon Anik is game for a Matt Brown vs. Jake Paul boxing match.

Speaking with Cageside Press about the recent Tyson Fury-Francis Ngannou boxing match, which was undeniably a close contest, Anik said that “I just hope— and I know the odds were not in favor of the mixed martial arts fighter in this particular contest— I just hope that if there are crossover affairs going forward, that at least we send the right MMA guys in there. Let’s send Max Holloway in there to try to box up some world champion’s face.”

With plenty of praise for Ngannou, Anik called Jake Paul versus Ben Askren “the easiest bet in the history of professional sports.” The fight Anik would like to see? “I want to see Matt Brown against Jake Paul. I know that’s probably not the right guy to send in there, right, it actually probably is more in line— I say Matt Brown, specified rule set with elbows against Jake Paul. But again a lot of people say to me ‘dude, you’re going to complain as your did earlier with Jamie about sending these 40-year olds in there with Jake Paul.’ And here I am making the case for another one.”

Anik, however, agreed that Brown would at least put on a show. “Oh God. He’d do something, man. He’d do something.”