Throughout his decade-long professional career, Israel Adesanya had only been stopped once. It happened against Alex Pereira in a kickboxing rematch in 2017, where he was knocked out by a left hook in the third round.
Pereira made his UFC debut at UFC 268 on Saturday and won big via flying knee TKO in the opening seconds of round two. That performance caught the champ’s attention as he saw the action when it all unfolded.
With the hype behind Pereira after this recent win, along with the stigma of that knockout loss from four years ago, “The Last Stylebender” now hopes for their paths to cross once again.
“One thing I noticed is everyone holds onto that win he has over me. Like it’s the be-all, end-all. But I hope he does well. I hope he does well through the ranks. In the next four fights, I hope to see him,” Adesanya said in a recent YouTube video.
“They’ll show you the knockout, but they won’t show you what happened before. They won’t show you what happened before the finish, ‘cause I hurt him. But if you notice, I only threw these (hands) because I was infiltrated by other people’s thoughts.
“But that was when I was younger. Not anymore. It’s different now.”
Adesanya is expected to defend the undisputed 185-pound strap for the fourth time in a rematch with ex-champion Robert Whittaker at UFC 271 on February 12.
About the author