As far as Alex Pereira is concerned, the rivalry with Israel Adesanya is far from over. The two men headlined UFC 287 in early April, with “The Last Stylebender” evening the score (at least in the UFC) with a stunning second-round knockout to reclaim the undisputed middleweight title.
A week after the fight, “Poatan” made his light heavyweight move official. But apparently, Adesanya remains in his crosshairs, at least for the time being.
Adesanya puts Alex Pereira rivalry to bed
With his KO win over Alex Pereira, Adesanya decided to put the long-standing rivalry behind him.
“I don’t keep score, I settle them. Now, it’s settled,” Adesanya told the media during the post-fight presser.
“Look, I gave him a fast track to the belt. I could’ve said, ‘Nah, f—k no. Who has he fought?’ HeThe fought one top-five fighter. But no. He did well, fought some alright guys and beat f—king [Sean] Strickland and I was like, ‘Okay, fine. There’s no one else.’
“But also, I was looking for that challenge — the guy that beat me in kickboxing. I was looking for that challenge. That’s why I took that fight.”
Adesanya even sent well-wishes to Pereira’s future opponents.
“Good luck to the next motherf—r fighting this guy. They’re gonna see how easy it is. “Take him down. That’s probably the best thing you can do.
“But if you’ll stand with this guy, f—ng good luck. Good luck. You’re gonna need it.”
Alex Pereira reignites conversation with Adesanya
But as far as Pereira is concerned, the rivalry with Adesanya is nothing but dead. Here’s what he said in a recent tweet.
Of course, Adesanya isn’t letting himself be outdone and issued a response not long after.
The history between Pereira and Adesanya
Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya have been connected with each other since 2016, when they were both competitors under the GLORY banner. Their first meeting ended with the Brazilian winning via decision in a three-round bout.
Then, of course, there is their 2017 rematch that ended with Pereira sleeping Adesanya with a clean left hook.
The two men met each other for a third time at UFC 281 in 2022. It was a back-and-forth fight for the first four and a half rounds until Pereira scored another stoppage victory in the last 40 seconds to win the title.
Is the UFC on board with a trilogy? As far as Dana White is concerned, Alex Pereira will be sticking to 205 pounds moving forward.
“Honestly, I think that Pereira probably moves to 205 after this fight,” White said during his post-even scrum. “He’s a monster. I know that he still had two pounds to cut leading up to when there was like an hour left in weigh-ins.
“Yeah. I’m not saying he’s moving to 205, but I’d assume he is. You guys can ask him, himself. But it wouldn’t surprise me. … I would bet anything he moves to 205 after this fight.”
As for Adesanya, he has his sights set on a fight against Dricus Du Plessis, and he’s already begun the gamesmanship.
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