Alex Pereira: How Israel Adesanya can erase knockout losses from his head?


Alex Pereira isn’t sure how his UFC 281 title fight against champ Israel Adesanya is going to play out, but he is sure Adesanya hasn’t forgotten about their previous meeting.

Heading into Saturday’s pay-per view, Pereira stated that his win in kickboxing over Adesanya left an indelible mark on him.

” “It’s still here, for certain,” he stated via translator during the UFC 281 Media Day. It’s not clear how or if he can erase it from his mind. But I do know that it is .”


In their third meeting,

Adesanya headlines UFC 281 in Madison Square Garden. Pereira defeated Adesanya in 2016, and then beat him in the rematch one-year later. Pereira won three straight in the octagon to earn his title shot.

Adesanya took credit for Pereira’s quick rise in the octagon, saying their history expedited his title run. The Brazilian said it didn’t ultimately matter how he got there, only that he proved he belongs.

“I’m going to show people that I’ve been training MMA for a while and how dangerous I can be in MMA,” he said.

Pereira stated that he is ready to take revenge on Adesanya if that’s what he wants. But he isn’t counting on the type of fight that many fans are expecting on Saturday.

” We’ve both grown a lot but I believe I have an edge in kickboxing because I’ve improved a lot since the fight,” he stated. “People want to say, ‘Oh, but now this is an MMA fight.’ But many people think this is going to be a kickboxing fight inside an octagon. Which do you believe will have the advantage? Me, who kept doing kickboxing for all those years, or him, who stopped training kickboxing?”

And if Pereira repeats history on Saturday, he welcomes a fourth meeting. He’s just unsure Adesanya, who attempts his sixth defense of the unified title, will want to be reminded again of the outcome.

“He does deserve that, but I think if they come and ask him after that for a rematch, I don’t think he wants that,” Pereira said.