‘I’ll always respect you’ – Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira share nice moment backstage at UFC 287

Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira were nothing but respectful to each other after their fight at UFC 287.

By: Kristen King | 6 months ago
‘I’ll always respect you’ – Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira share nice moment backstage at UFC 287

Can Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira go from foes to friends? If their post-fight exchange is anything to go by, then the answer is yes. 

Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira embrace backstage

Moments after Adesanya dethroned Pereira with a stunning second-round KO for the UFC middleweight championship at UFC 287 this past Saturday, cameras caught the pair having a conversation. The ‘Last Stylebender’ said he wanted to go to Brazil to see ‘Po Atan,’ so he could learn a thing or two from the ex-champion. 

You can watch the exchange below:

“I’m going to come to Brazil one time, and I would love not to train, but just see you in Brazil,” said Adesanya. “Because I missed Brazil when I was there the last time he knocked me out.

“I want to learn how to throw the [leg kicks],” continued Adesanya. “Honestly, you’re a great champion forever. It doesn’t matter what anyone says. You’re always a champion and I’ll always respect you.”  

Adesanya declares Pereira rivalry officially over

For Adesanya, the rivalry between him and Pereira is officially over. During his post-fight press conference, the City Kickboxing product expressed interest in other fights over a trilogy with Pereira, who he is now tied 1-1 with in the UFC. 

UFC president Dana White agreed with Adesanya, saying that he sees Pereira moving up from middleweight to light heavyweight, so another fight is out of the question (for now). 

“Honestly, I think Pereira moves to 205 after this fight,” said White during his post-fight press conference. “He’s a monster. I know that he still had like two pounds to cut, and it was an hour left of the weigh-ins. So yeah, I’m not saying he’s moving to 205, but I’m assuming he is; you can ask him. It wouldn’t surprise me.”

What is the history between Adesanya and Pereira?

Prior to their fights in the UFC, Adesanya and Pereira met twice in kickboxing. The Brazilian went 2-0, earning a decision and a knockout of Adesanya at Glory of Heroes 1 and Glory of Heroes 7, respectively. When Pereira found his way to the UFC, he rattled off three consecutive wins against Andreas Michailidis, Bruno Silva and Sean Strickland to earn a title shot against Adesanya. At UFC 281 this past November, the Teixeira MMA and Fitness star snatched a ‘Comeback of the Year’ win with a fifth-round TKO of Adesanya.

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About the author
Kristen King
Kristen King

Kristen King is a writer for Bloody Elbow. She has covered combat sports since 2016, getting her start with outlets such as FanSided, MyMMANews and MMA-Prospects. She joined the BE team in 2020, covering a mix of news, events and injuries. In her time with BE, Kristen has created ‘Fright of the Night,’ a series that highlights some of the worst injuries in the sport.

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