Alex Pereira would embrace the opportunity to train with his longtime foe, Israel Adesanya.
Though they’ve only competed twice inside the Octagon, the rivalry between Pereira and ‘The Last Stylebender’ goes back almost a decade to their time competing under the GLORY Kickboxing banner. While there, they met on two separate occasions with Pereira coming out on top in both meetings.
Despite his success with GLORY, Pereira was still relatively unknown in combat sports while Adesanya was setting the MMA world on fire by running roughshod over the middleweight division. But every once in a while, somebody would come along asking about that one infamous knockout the ‘Stylebender’ suffered X amount of years back.
Recently, ‘Poatan’ shared a video of Adesanya discussing the brutal knockout loss and making some disparaging comments about Pereira in the process.
“I’m glad it happened because I wouldn’t be here and even this guy now, he watching all my fights, and every time I fight, like clockwork, he’ll try and put something out like, ‘I beat this guy,’ but I’ve never watched any of his fights,” Adesanya says in the clip. “At the end of the day, no one knows who the f*ck he is”
The video immediately transitions to a highlight of Pereira’s fifth-round knockout against Adesanya at UFC 281, with Pereira offering some advice for the former two-time titleholder.
“This is not personal with Israel Adesanya,” Pereira wrote on Instagram. “I would even train with him in the future, but Adesanya gotta watch this video so he will never underestimate someone’s potential again!”
Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya Aren’t Done With One Another Just Yet
It wouldn’t be the first time that Alex Pereira has trained alongside a past opponent. Following his first-round KO of Sean Strickland at UFC 276, ‘Tarzan’ began working with the ‘Brazilian Boogeyman’ to enhance his striking skills. A year later, Strickland would deliver a dominant performance against Adesanya to claim the middleweight world title.
Meanwhile, Pereira has moved to the light heavyweight division where he recently captured the vacant 205-pound title with a second-round KO of ex-champion Jiri Prochazka.
Following his victory, Pereira immediately called out Adesanya, welcoming the ‘Stylebender’ to challenge him in a new weight class. Perhaps will see that UFC trilogy bout down the line, but for now, Pereira will stand aside until former titleholder Jamahal Hill heals from a ruptured Achilles.