Israel Adesanya lit the fire that “ignited” Alex Pereira’s UFC career!
Former UFC champion Israel Adesanya inadvertently lit the fire that led to his downfall at the hands of Alex Pereira.
The rivalry between newly crowned middleweight champion “Poatan” Pereira and “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya is one of the more interesting in modern UFC history. Adesanya had lost both of their previous kickboxing bouts: the first by controversial decision, and the second by brutal knockout in the final round. Despite losing two in a row to the Brazilian, Adesanya had shown himself to be the superior technician, making a third fight compelling to fans.
At UFC 281 they collided again, this time in MMA. The fight played out very similarly to the last one. Adesanya was well on his way to winning a comfortable decision when his long-time rival TKO’d him with a barrage of relentless strikes. That their paths crossed a third time was no mere coincidence. Pereira was after more than just a successful MMA career when he left the world of kickboxing behind him and donned four ounce gloves; “Poatan” longed to be the one to take the belt from Adesanya.
“Alex Pereira told me that in March 2020 Israel Adesanya did an interview with Sporting News Australia, probably one of dozens of interviews that he did before his fight against Yoel Romero,” ESPN’s Marc Raimondi said. “But there was something that he said in that interview that really resonated with Pereira. And Adesanya said – he was asked about Pereira, of course being knocked out by him – and he said that, in the future, no one is gonna know who this guy Pereira is. He’s gonna be some guy at a pub, talking to some girls, and he’s gonna look up at the TV and say, Oh I fought that guy one time. And yeah, Adesanya’s gonna be a legend; he’s (Pereira) just gonna be some guy at a bar.
“And 7000 miles away, Alex Pereira watched that interview.”
“He saw that clip, and it motivated him, it ignited him. Seven months later, he was signing with LFA. He wasn’t even in MMA really full time at that point. But that one little 90 second clip motivated this man.”
UFC president Dana White won’t rule out a fourth fight; however, “The Last Stylebender” recently hinted at dealing with some health issues first. Consequently, “Poatan” Pereira could instead face the winner of Robert Whittaker vs. Paulo Costa at UFC 284.
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