What a coincidence! UFC rivals Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira both record funny run-in at airport 

Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira couldn’t help but laugh at their recent run-in outside of the Octagon.

By: Kristen King | 4 months ago
What a coincidence! UFC rivals Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira both record funny run-in at airport 
Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira at UFC 287 | IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

Are Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira entering the early stages of a ‘from foes to friends’ arc? After this short yet funny run-in at an airport in Australia recently, it appears as though they are!

Adesanya and Pereira were invited to a slew of similar activities in the country, such as visiting and training with a pair of rugby league teams. The reigning UFC middleweight champion went with the New Zealand Warriors, while Pereira did the same with the Melbourne Storm. They were in close proximity again, this time at the Margaret Court Arena, where Adesanya and Pereira watched former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker knock out Faiga Opelu. 

Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira meet again

Perhaps the closest Adesanya and Pereira came to a run-in was when they each had a brief conversation with Tyson Fury at the Parker vs. Opelu fight. The ‘Gypsy King’ joked with Adesanya that he would never get into a cage, referring to the recent discourse around a potential fight between him and reigning UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones. Fury also caught up with ‘Po Atan,’ who he encouraged after watching his recent fight with the ‘Last Stylebender’ at UFC 287 this past April. Even then, there was still no run-in with Adesanya and Pereira…until they were on their way to their next destinations. 

On Monday, the pair of UFC rivals uploaded videos of their interaction at the same airport in Australia. Adesanya showed the Brazilian behind him (and fellow UFC champion Alexander Volkanovski) in line, while the Brazilian approached and fist-bumped his former foe. 

Watch those videos here:

The past history between Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira

Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira have fought for times, two of them happening in the Octagon. After a 3-0 start to his UFC career, the former GLORY kickboxing champion was given a championship opportunity against Adesanya. At UFC 281, Pereira dethroned Adesanya via fifth-round TKO in what was widely considered a ‘Comeback of the Year’ contender. 

The UFC scheduled an immediate rematch at UFC 287, where Adesanya exacted revenge and ended the short-live reign of Pereira, who he finished via second-round TKO. Though 1-1 in the Octagon, a trilogy is not being considered now. For the City Kickboxing product, the score is officially settled with Pereira.

“I don’t keep score, I settle them,” said Adesanya at his post-fight press conference. “Now it’s settled. Look, I gave him a fast track to the belt. I could’ve said, ‘Nah, f—k no. Who has he fought?’ He 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. 

“The rematch — I got the immediate rematch because of what I’ve done in this game,” continued Adesanya. “I won the belt against Kelvin [Gastelum]. I defended against Rob [Whittaker], [Yoel] Romero, [Paulo] Costa, [Marvin] Vettori, Rob again, [Jared] Cannonier — that’s seven. My belt would have seven f—king gems on it, so I did the hard yards and I earned my f—king rematch. Now he’s gotta do the hard yards if he wants to do that, but I don’t think he’s gonna because he [could] go cause problems at 205. And f—k, good luck to everybody else because he’s a motherf—ker to deal with. I’ll tell you that.”

Up next for Adesanya is the winner of Robert Whittaker vs. Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 290, while Pereira moves up to face former UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz at UFC 291.

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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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