Alex Pereira is ‘sure’ Israel Adesanya has not moved on from his knockout loss to him.
Top-ranked middleweight contender Pereira is set to challenge reigning 185-pound king Adesanya in the headlining bout of UFC 281 this Saturday, Nov. 12 in the promotion’s grand return to the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York after a three-year hiatus. Pereira is the only man to knock out Adesanya and defeat him twice in kickboxing. He will look to repeat history and end his longtime foe’s dominant reign.
Alex Pereira is sure Israel Adesanya hasn’t moved on from the KO loss
During Wednesday’s pre-fight press conference for UFC 281, Alex Pereira shared his thoughts on the nearing third showdown with Adesanya. While ‘Stylebender’ stated it was personal for him, ‘Poatan’ has a different perspective.
“No, not for me. I will do my work and job like I would if I was fighting anyone else. I just focus on fighting for the title.”
Pereira believes Adesanya is still haunted by the vicious left hook knockout loss and suggested it would be weighing on his mind heavily going into the bout.
“It’s still there for sure. I don’t know how he could possibly erase that knockout from his mind. But I know it’s still there.”
Pereira says Adesanya would show desperation if he went for a takedown
Given the stylistic matchup between the two striking specialists, it seems unlikely that either fighter would go for a takedown. Both have shown no evidence of incorporating it in their previous contests and Pereira argued it would show Adesanya’s desperation if he tried to.
“It’s MMA. Anything can happen. There are many possibilities. Maybe Israel can go and try to take me down but I think that will be hard because if that happens, it’s going to have more desperation instead of strategy.”
Alex Pereira will look to secure his first MMA championship after conquering kickboxing in two separate divisions.