UFC’s Michel Pereira Denies Dolidze Booking: “I Didn’t Accept That Fight”

Michel Pereira, UFC 301
Michel Pereira, UFC 301 Credit: Dylan Bowker/Cageside Press

Despite multiple reports that Michel Pereira was set to face Roman Dolidze in a middleweight bout this June, there seems to be some confusion as to whether the booking was ever agreed to. And at least according to one party, it was not.

That would be Pereira. “Demolidor,” fresh off an explosive victory over Ihor Potieria at UFC 301, was reported by Eurosport to be replacing Anthony “Fluffy” Hernandez against Georgian Doldize, with the bout shifted from June 1 to June 8 the accommodate the new opponent.

However, in a video posted by Ag.Fight (h/t MMA Junkie), Pereira has stated that he never accepted the bout, nor would he, as he has trained with Dolidze.

“I didn’t accept that fight, OK?” Pereira stated in the video, speaking in Portuguese. “That man, he trains with me every day. He trains with me at UFC P.I. He trains at Xtreme Couture and he fights. Got it? He accepted and I didn’t. For me, now is not the time to fight him. If he accepted, that’s his problem.”

Pereira went on to add that he was surprised Dolidize had taken the bout. “I was even surprised when he accepted. I didn’t accept this fight, OK? Got it? I said if it was someone else I would take it. But as it is with him, now is not the time for me to fight him yet. Because for me, he was my friend, my training partner, for me, in my head.”

Dolidze, meanwhile, confirmed that he had in fact agreed to the match-up. “Yes we train together,” the middleweight wrote on social media. “I was told that he agreed to fight in June 8 (not June 1 when I was originally supposed to fight ) and UFC ask me to change date. Yesterday they send me contract. If they ask me to change date (which he asked for) and he agree of course I signed contract.”

Of course, it now seems that Michel Pereira did not agree to the booking, but it’s likely Dolidze was unaware of that, with offers being sent out to both fighters. Where the Dolidze fight goes from here remains to be seen.