Alex Pereira is more than ready to defend his newly won UFC middleweight championship against Israel Adesanya, if that’s what the former champ wants.
At UFC 281, Pereira shocked the world when he knocked out ‘The Last Stylebender’ in the fifth round of their highly-entertaining main event clash. Minutes away from certain defeat, Pereira pushed Adesanya to the fence and delivered a barrage of unanswered strikes forcing the referee to step in and call for the stoppage, crowning a new middleweight king in the process.
Alex Pereira told ESPN Brazil that he is happy to run it back with Adesanya, but believes it would be best if ‘Stylebender’ takes some time away from fighting to recover and reassess.
“It makes no difference to me if it’s him (Adesanya) or another guy,” Pereira stated. “If I were him, though, I’d say ‘I’m not fighting right now. I’m going to wait a little, think about what I’m going to do’. Since he wants it, though. I mean, he used to be the champion. If he really wants it, he has earned the right because he has five title defenses.”
Adesanya and Pereira after their bout.pic.twitter.com/lO3xoBOmM0
— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) November 24, 2022
Israel Adesanya is More Than Deserving of an Immediate Rematch with Alex Pereira
Unifying the UFC middleweight championship more than three years ago at UFC 243, Israel Adesanya successfully defended the title five times, scoring wins over Yoel Romero, Paulo Costa, Robert Whittaker, Marvin Vettori, and Jared Cannonier. His dominance in the 185-pound division is more than enough justification to give ‘Stylebender’ a chance at recapturing UFC gold. With Pereira clearly on board for a rematch, the only thing to determine is the date and the location.
“We had a good fight,” Pereira added. “He did catch me at one point, so he believes he can beat me. It doesn’t matter to me. I’ll fight him, that’s no problem. If there are two guys. Adesanya and some other guy, I’d pick Adesanya, if I’m being honest. I’m not picking another guy just not to give Adesanya the chance. If he really wants it, then he’s next.” (h/t Bloodyelbow)