- Israel Adesanya said he doesn’t care about the score between him and Alex Pereira and just focused on settling it
- Izzy also commented on Francis Ngannou’s UFC exit and looming fight with Tyson Fury
Israel Adesanya shared his thoughts about his upcoming title fight rematch with Alex Pereira at UFC 287 and the departure of his compatriot Francis Ngannou from the promotion.
— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) January 28, 2023
One win is all it takes
Speaking to reporters in his UFC 284 press conference, “The Last Stylebender” quickly addressed the issue of heading into the rematch with Pereira 0-3 in all their bouts. For Adesanya, he doesn’t use the deficit as motivation and more importantly, he doesn’t keep track of the score. Izzy insisted that all he needs is just one victory over his nemesis and it will be settled.
“It’s a good question – what’s my motivation? I’ve never not been motivated to fight this guy but for this one I’ve put the pressure on myself, like f*ck the belt, f*ck everything else. I have to beat this guy so yeah, that’s I guess my motivation is just beating him and I like I said they can say whatever they want you know it’s 1-0 or 3-0, I don’t keep score, I settle them and I just need one and I’m gonna get it done,” Adesanya explained.
Francis wasn’t being a diva
As for Ngannou’s decision to leave the UFC while in the midst of his reign as the heavyweight champion, Adesanya thinks it was a good call. The former middleweight king then clarified that regardless of how stubborn “The Predator” may have seemed, the truth is Ngannou wasn’t being a “diva” in the UFC.
Adesanya explained that it was just that Ngannou is the type of person who will fight for what he thinks is right and good for him.
“Francis made the right call. He’s the one that kicked in the door. We’ve all been behind him, we’ve been seeing this for how long if you guys go back on the tapes I’ve been saying the same thing I’m not gonna hop on about it but he’s right. It’s little things you know, he’s asking for things that should be mandatory. He wasn’t asking for you know crazy ridiculous Diva diverse demands you know it was something as little as like for the guys fighting on the opening having the fourth or third quarter man being paid for and the hotel’s being paid for that sets them up nicely and they don’t have to fork it out of their 10 and 10 or maybe even 10 to pay for their fourth or third tournament you know little things like that.”
He continued, “So, he’s not being a diva. He’s asking for reasonable demands and I felt like he should have got them but again um yeah what are they what he’s he told me and said like um I said that’s not how we do business but the way we do business has to change and it will change he’s just the guy to kick in the door.”
Add kicks on Fury vs. Ngannou
Regardless of the issue, Adesanya is certain that Ngannou will make a UFC comeback at some point. However, Izzy acknowledges the obvious that as of now, the former UFC heavyweight champion is all-in on a boxing match with Tyson Fury.
“I think he’ll come back he’s the greatest heavyweight we’ve ever had um not not even just like in the UFC in history you know he left on his own terms with the belt never lost it and yeah he is so I I feel he’s gonna do what he has to do in boxing or wherever else but it’s it’s a great hit to the company I know he’ll be back though he’ll be back that’s what I was saying…He’ll be back,” Adesanya added.
Adesanya also has no problem with Fury demanding special rules in his looming fight with Ngannou. The only thing Izzy suggests is that “The Gypsy King” also agrees to allow kicking in the match.
“They’ve already kind of had the back and forth, it’s already kind of built in there and the fact that Fury is ready to do it in smaller gloves I say add kicks he’s a gypsy he takes chances yeah he can’t just keep it man you know everyone wants to say uh you know we’re going to bang this and that you know Queensbury rules but yeah add some kicks if you’re gonna take the gloves away no takedown just add some kicks unless he was really let’s see who the real baddest man on the planet is,” he concluded.
Ngannou is still a free agent at the moment but is being linked to a move to big-name promotions such as PFL, Bellator, and recently Jake Paul’s Most Valuable Promotions.
Adesanya, meanwhile, is set for his highly-anticipated rematch with Pereira at UFC 287 happening on April 8.