December 24, 2022 8:00 am ET
Quemuel Ottoni thinks he could have finished Alex Pereira even faster with his current skills.
Ottoni (12-3), the only man to beat Pereira (7-1) in MMA, thinks he has grown a lot more since their fight. Ottoni submitted Pereira in the third round in 2015 under the Jungle Fight banner in Brazil.
Since losing to Ottoni in his MMA debut, Pereira went on to win three straight before signing with the UFC in 2021. With his history with then middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, it took “Poatan” only three octagon wins before earning a title shot. He TKO’d Adesanya in Round 5 at UFC 281 to become champion, but Ottoni still sees deficiencies in Pereira’s ground game.
“He definitely got heavier,” Ottoni told MMA Junkie Radio on Pereira. “He built a bigger frame around him and redistributed weight in a better form, but I think that’s it really. I wouldn’t really put much else on his side. I see his jiu-jitsu as something limited.”
He continued, “I feel my jiu-jitsu has improved leaps and certain positions that I found myself in while fighting against him, I would have taken care of business much earlier if I was fighting him today. As well as my boxing. I feel like my boxing, my standup striking has improved a lot.”
Ottoni eventually moved down to welterweight and won Jungle Fight’s vacant 170-pound title in May with a third-round submission of Jose Diaz. He will take part in PFL’s Challenger Series on Jan. 27.
Like Pereira’s rivalry with Adesanya, Ottoni too has history which has pushed his name to the masses. But Ottoni says his goals are more to do with competing in the U.S.
“It didn’t really have anything to do with Pereira,” Ottoni said. “It was more of chasing my dream. I’ve always wanted to fight in the U.S. so the moment my manager called me with this opportunity to fight in the U.S., I was all in and even better with it being an organization like the PFL.”