Alex Pereira Responds to Israel Adesanya Taunting His Son Following UFC 287 Knockout; ‘He Thinks It’s Funny’

Alex Pereira didn't appreciate Israel Adesanya taunting his son following their UFC title fight on Saturday night.

Israel Adesanya
Courtesy of @K3vin11Awesome and @UFCNews on Twitter

Alex Pereira didn’t appreciate Israel Adesanya taunting his son following their UFC title fight on Saturday night.

‘The Last Stylebender’ finally broke through at UFC 287, delivering a showstopping second-round knockout against his Brazilian boogeyman Alex Pereira, reclaiming the middleweight championship in the process. Immediately following the finish, Adesanya located Pereira’s son in the crowd and mocked him, playfully crashing to the canvas as Pereira did seconds earlier. 

Seven years ago when ‘Poatan’ brutally KO’d Adesanya inside the GLORY Kickboxing ring, Pereira’s son mocked ‘The Last Stylebender’ by mimicking his knockout. Adesanya was simply returning the favor. 

In a video posted on his YouTube channel, Pereira suggested that ‘Stylebender’ should have been more professional in his celebration rather than making sure a child got their comeuppance for something they did at the age of five.

“Honestly, I wouldn’t do the same,” Pereira said. “I can play with him like I’ve always played. I’ve teased him, but I don’t know, he’s another child. I don’t know what his feelings were. He was enduring this for seven years and I saw his joy after the knockout. That was his dream. That was his dream and he made it, but we’re comparing him with a child who was 5 years old at the time, right?

“I don’t have that mind. I can prove it because today he’s 12 years old and before the fight I saw that he was being influenced by other people, sometimes he even participated in some interviews and some reporters asked [my son], ‘Are you going to do this again?’ and he laughed. He’s a kid and he thinks it’s funny.

“I knocked him out [at UFC 281], I won the belt, and my kid wanted to do the same thing up there. I told him, ‘No, stop, don’t do it. Stay here, don’t do anything.’ I’m a conscious guy about everything I’m saying here, and I wouldn’t do it. If he did it and felt better that way, ok, it’s a relief he had. And if he thinks it’s better for him, ok, that won’t change anything for me.”

Alex Pereira Doesn’t Believe Israel Adesanya’s Knockout Blow Was Part of a Strategic Plan

Alex Pereira believes through two and a half rounds, he was sticking to his game plan and on the path to retaining his title in spectacular fashion. Making that long walk from the Octagon to the locker room, Pereira described his thought process while recovering alongside his teammates. 

“I saw the fight, but when I was leaving the arena to the hotel, I was talking to Glover [Teixieira] to my team, and I was talking about everything there. Everything that had happened. How I was in the fight. I was very well aware of everything that happened. I thought I was doing well. I was dominating the fight there, hurting him. He knows how much I was hurting him and that’s what I did right in training. Everything I expected to do right in the fight, I did all that in training so it was working out really well.”

As for whether or not Israel Adesanya’s highlight-reel knockout was all part of a plan or just a lucky punch landed under duress, Alex Pereira is inclined to believe the latter. 

“He said that it was strategic. That he was waiting there. That I fell into his game plan. I don’t believe that. I believe he was better than me that night. He felt cornered and he was throwing punches and I was getting knocked out.”

By all accounts, Alex Pereira’s days in the middleweight division are likely over. That’s according to UFC President Dana White who suggested that ‘Poatan’ would be moving on to light heavyweight after surrendering the 185-pound crown to Israel Adesanya

Published on April 11, 2023 at 4:58 pm
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