Thursday, May 23, 2024

UFC Vegas 91 | Exclusive: “Perez will be my toughest opponent” – Matheus Nicolau

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Kape situation

Nicolau will face Perez. Perez comes in as a replacement for Manel Kape after three weeks of preparation. Kape and Nicolau were supposed to fight a rematch in January. Kape was too heavy at the time and Nicolau refused the match. The Brazilian explains why.

“I knew you were going to ask me this. The reason why is actually very simple. He was 3.5 pounds overweight at the weigh-in and I couldn’t tell at all that he had tried to go all out to make his weight. He was plump and could still run. It was clear to me that he was deliberately trying to gain an advantage over me by not pulling his weight. I had to do everything I could to make the weight.”

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UFC Vegas 91: Nicolau vs. Cape 2

Photo: Getty Images

Nicolau is very clear about his reasoning.

“You have to see it this way. Suppose I accept that party. Then I get a percentage of his fee, but he has a physical advantage in the fight. If he wins, not only is it unfair to me, but he gets to fight his way up. And in a year’s time no one will remember that he was too heavy, but there will only be a win behind his name against me. I put a stop to that and I still support it.”

Alex Perez

Nicolau is looking forward to the fight against Alex Perez. The Brazilian has a lot of respect for his opponent.

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Official Poster UFC Vegas 91

Photo: Getty Images

“All respect to Alex Perez. What you say indeed he may have lost his last three matches, but it was against the former champion, the current champion and the top talent in the division. Plus the fact that I thought he fought Muhammad Mokaev very well last month and might have won. Perez is very all-round and I am wary of his qualities. That’s how I stand in all my parties. Perez is the most difficult opponent for me so far and I will do everything I can to win and continue my climb towards that title. That is my big dream.”

UFC 301 in Brazil

The UFC heads to Rio de Janeiro for a PPV next week. Nicolau would have liked to fight in Brazil, but on the one hand he doesn’t mind it at all.

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UFC Orlando | Nicolau beats Schnell via knockout

“Listen, I would have loved to fight in Brazil. Only this is my first main event for the UFC and I would like to have that experience of a five-round fight. That is very important for my development. I think I need that experience before I can fight for a title in the future. Plus I think it’s an absolute honor to be in the main event of a UFC event.”

Luana Pinheiro

When asked whether he will be in the audience in Rio de Janeiro next week, Nicolau is also clear.

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UFC 287 | Pinheiro defeats Waterson via split decision

“No, I don’t plan to go back to Brazil. My wife Luana Pinheiro is also fighting Angela Hill in the UFC APEX on May 18th. So it is not really convenient for us to go back to Brazil and then come to Las Vegas again. On the other hand, if the UFC wants me there and can arrange it then I would certainly be open to attending the event.”

Where to watch UFC Vegas 91?

There is no preview show for this event. The broadcast of the prelims starts on Saturday evening, April 27 at 11:00 PM on discovery+.

At 1 a.m. it’s time for the main card with expert commentary from Sander Schrik and Marloes Coenen, which can also be seen on discovery+.

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