Alex Pereira Says Israel Adesanya Is Being Forced To Fight Him

Alex Pereira thinks UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya does not want to face him and is being forced into the bout.

Alex Pereira
Credit Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya on Instagram

Alex Pereira thinks he is in Israel Adesanya’s head. 

There is a massive UFC middleweight title fight on deck for the UFC 281 fight card this weekend. The champion Israel Adesanya will be taking on one of only a few men to ever hand him a loss in his combat sports career, Alex Pereira. Because of the history between these two, Pereira beating Adesanya twice in kickboxing, the hype behind this fight is huge. 

The UFC signed Pereira back in 2021 and immediately the talk of him one day fighting Adesanya began. He has now won three fights in a row within the organization and has earned his title shot. Although he is just days away from facing the champion, he feels that Adesanya is not glad to be taking on this challenge. Pereira feels the champ was forced into this position. 

“If he really wanted this, he would have done that as soon as I signed with the UFC,” Pereira said in an interview with MMA Fighting’s podcast Trocação Franca. “He’s being forced to fight, he’s the champion. It’s obvious that he cares about the belt. He knows I’m different, and I’m proving that. I’m showing that in my three UFC fights. I’m being honest here. He doesn’t want this fight. Nobody wants. His team doesn’t want it. People close to him don’t want it because they know the risk.”

Alex Pereira thinks Israel Adesanya was pretending to want to face him

Leading up to the fight both men have been vocal about their desire to win. Adesanya has known that there was a possibility of the two of them facing each other since Pereira was signed. In the beginning, he was more than happy to accept this fate, he just wanted Pereira to get a few wins under his belt. Pereira stated that he believed this was a stalling method to see if perhaps Pereira would lose to someone else. Instead, Pereira has compiled three wins, two by TKO and two performance bonuses. 

“Right after it was announced that my next fight would be for the belt against him, he and his whole team said it was a bit unfair that I was fighting for the belt because I just got here, that Adesanya did so many fights and I should do the same. Man, I’m just hearing that and taking it as something positive for me. That shows me he pretended he wanted [to fight me] and when I got here, his whole team was against it. That shows all of them, he and his team are mentally shook.”

Pereira will be trying to increase his record versus Adesanya to 3-0 on November 12 in Madison Square Garden at UFC 281. 

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