Former two-division GLORY kickboxing champion, Alex Pereira believes that UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will do everything in his capacity to avoid a fight with him
Following the signing of Brazilian kickboxer Alex Pereira to the UFC, the narrative for a fight between him and middleweight champion Israel Adesanya seemed to be writing itself. The former number. 1 ranked kickboxer in the middleweight and light heavyweight division, Pereira’s style is the kryptonite to Adesanya’s unprecedented reign.
“Poatan” defeated Adesanya twice in kickboxing, winning a 2016 decision in China, and landed a left hook for a vicious, memorable knockout in their rematch, the following year in Brazil. Currently with just one fight old in the UFC, Adesanya has dismissed talks of the fight in the near future, labelling it as ‘ a bit premature’. Adesanya even said in the past that his loss came because he got too comfortable in the boxing range, and he is a much more transformed fighter.
Speaking to MMA Fighting’s Portuguese-language podcast Trocação Franca, Pereira scorned and laughed away at those comments. He said, “Man, have you seen me laughing before? It’s hard, right. How does this guy say he’s anxious to fight me? If I were in his shoes and I was crazy to fight someone, anxious, like he’s saying he is … as soon as I heard ‘Alex Pereira has signed with the UFC,’ [I would’ve said] f***, [book it] right away. The respect he has [within the company], I’d say, ‘Ask him if he wants to fight me now. Forget about Robert Whittaker, cancel this fight, reschedule it. I make the calls. If Alex wants it, I want it.’
“F, man, that’s what you do is you’re anxious to fight [someone]. ‘Oh, I can’t wait to fight Alex, but I’ll fight him [after] 15 fights.’ F, How is he anxious to do it? What does he want? Look, I’ll tell you this — it’s harder for me to get to him than beating him. He knows that. He knows how I beat him. He fought me twice. He won’t admit how difficult I am. He’s not anxious to fight me. He wants me to slip tomorrow so he can say, ‘Is this the guy you want me to fight? Are you crazy? Go back to the end of the line.’ He’ll run from me.
“Someone crazy for a fight will say, ‘I want this guy, I want to prove I’m better than him,’” Pereira continued. “He’s fooling his fan base. People should pressure him. The least he could do is say, ‘F*ck, I’ll show my fans that I’m the best and that’s why they follow me,’ but that’s not what he’s doing. He’s scared s. Like Glover [Teixeira] says, he’s scared s.” [ via MMA fighting]
What happened when Alex Pereira fought Israel Adesanya?
Israel Adesanya has been reigning supreme in the UFC middleweight division. He has not only built a credible body of work inside the octagon, but also emerged as one of the biggest superstars in the game right now, and the second highest paid fighter in the UFC. With a visible lack of viable options, he is most likely to square up against Jared Cannonier, in the quest for his fifth tittle defense.
Brazilian kickboxing phenom, Alex Pereira encountered Adesanya twice in the kickboxing terrain, and emerged victorious twice. Pereira’s first encounter with Adesanya came in April 2016 at Glory of Heroes 1. ‘Poatan’ outperformed Adesanya to earn a unanimous decision victory after three rounds.
A year later, the competitors met again – at Glory of Heroes 15. The rematch proved to be a more decisive win for Pereira. After some initial success inside boxing range for Adesanya, the ‘Stylebender’ fearlessly stepped inside Pereira’s range continually. Pereria landed a perfectly calculated left-hook, as soon as Adesanya moved inside range after landing the left high-kick, that knocked him out cold.
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