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Pereira admits risk involved with short-notice UFC 303 main event

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UFC light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira acknowledged Friday the risk involved with stepping into the UFC 303 main event on just over two weeks' notice.

Pereira agreed to defend his title in a rematch with former champ Jiri Prochazka on June 29 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas after Conor McGregor withdrew from the original main event against Michael Chandler due to an injury.

"I understand that this fight is very close and there may be difficulties with the lead-up time," Pereira wrote on Instagram, "but if there is somebody that can make this happen, it is me."

Pereira knocked out Prochazka in the second round at UFC 295 last November to capture the vacant 205-pound belt.

According to MMA reporter Ariel Helwani, Pereira was the biggest hurdle in finalizing the rematch. "Poatan" was on a seminar tour in Australia when the UFC offered him the fight. He also recently suffered two broken toes, one before and the other during his knockout win over Jamahal Hill at UFC 300 in April.

Pereira said his willingness to step up on short notice to headline yet another tentpole event - Madison Square Garden, UFC 300, and now International Fight Week - reaffirms his status as one of the top stars in the sport.

"This is why I am one of the biggest names in the UFC," Pereira wrote. "I take risks that not one other person would be willing to take."

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