Alex Pereira reveals Israel Adesanya poked the bear in 2020 interview, convinced him to join the UFC

Alex Pereira reveals how irked he was by an interview from his rival Israel Adesanya.

By: Tim Bissell | 2 months ago
Alex Pereira reveals Israel Adesanya poked the bear in 2020 interview, convinced him to join the UFC
November 13, 2022, NEW YORK, NEW YORK, USA: Belt dispute between Nigerian fighter Israel Adesanya red and Brazilian Alex Pereira Poatan blue during UFC 281 at Madson Square Garden in New York, United States this Saturday, 12. NEW YORK USA - ZUMAc233 0193861856st Copyright: xVanessaxCarvalhox

Alex Pereira will meet Israel Adesanya for a fourth time this weekend at UFC 287. The first two times they competed it was in the GLORY kickboxing ring. Pereira won both those bouts, one by decision and one by devastating KO. When the pair met in the UFC cage back in November, Poatan won again, this time by late TKO. In doing so, the Brazilian snagged the UFC middleweight title.

According to Pereira, though, the latter part of his history with Adesanya may not have happened were not for what Adesanya said about him in 2020.

What did Israel Adesanya say about Alex Pereira?

In an interview with Sporting News Australia, Israel Adesanya spoke about his former kickboxing rival.

“I’m glad it happened because I wouldn’t be here [otherwise],” said Adesanya when discussing his back-to-back losses to Alex Pereira. “And even the same guy now… He watches all my fights and every time I fight, like clockwork, he will try and put something out like, ‘I beat this guy,’ but I’ve never ever watched any of his fights. Never ever. So, at the end of the day, no one knows who the fuck he is. And he’s going to be that guy when I’m world champion, when I’m a legend, he’s going to be in some pub talking some shit about, ‘I beat that guy one time’ trying to get his dick sucked from a crack-whore or some shit.”

Alex Pereira was motivated by Adesanya’s words

In the UFC 287 Countdown video Alex Pereira said that 2020 interview had a powerful effect on him.

“When Israel Adesanya joined the UFC, I started taking a close look because I had the interest of fighting in MMA,” said Pereira. “There is a video of an interview with Israel Adesanya that motivated me so much. I felt challenged. And whenever there’s a challenge, no one can hold me back. I wanted new challenges, and the UFC was it.”

When is Alex Pereira vs. Israel Adesanya?

Alex Pereira vs. Israel Adesanya happens on April 8 in the main event for UFC 287. The event is being held at the Miami-Dade Arena in Miami, Fl. The pay-per-view begins at 10 p.m. ET and is to be broadcast on ESPN+ PPV.

How We Got To UFC 287
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Tim Bissell
Tim Bissell

Tim Bissell is a writer, editor and deputy site manager for Bloody Elbow. He has covered combat sports since 2015. Tim covers news and events and has also written longform and investigative pieces. Among Tim's specialties are the intersections between crime and combat sports. Tim has also covered head trauma, concussions and CTE in great detail.

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