Israel Adesanya Addresses the Trash Talk of Alex Pereira Ahead of UFC 281; ‘I Will Respond And I’ll Respond Violently’

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya discusses his mental state going into the highly-anticipated UFC 281 main event with Alex Pereira

Israel Adesanya
Courtesy of Morning Kombat on YouTube

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will step into the Octagon at UFC 281 to meet a familiar face from his past.

‘The Last Stylebender’ will compete in what many see as a trilogy bout with his GLORY Kickboxing rival Alex Pereira. Just three fights into his UFC tenure and Pereira has already secured a world title opportunity following his brutal knockout of Sean Strickland. Since then, Pereira has been talking a lot of trash about the man he knocked out twice under the GLORY banner. However, none of that talk phases Adesanya who plans to respond in his own unique way this Saturday night. 

“Pereira, he’s been doing it all f*cking week,” Adesanya said in an interview with Morning Kombat. All week. Weeks. He’s been trying to like… And I’m just like, ‘Well he has bragging rights. He can talk sh*t. Let him talk sh*t.’ I’m not gonna react, but I said I will respond and I’ll respond violently.”

Following his win over Strickland at UFC 276, Pereira appeared on the Portuguese-language podcast Trocação Franca and claimed that Israel Adesanya and his team were “mentally shook” at the notion of facing him in the UFC 281 main event. 

“After the Strickland fight, I already knew. I said he was next and I said he still doesn’t deserve [it]. Deserve is a subjective word. People like to say [people] deserve this, deserve that. F*ck deserve. Did you earn [it]? What did you do to earn this spot? I still don’t think he’s earned the spot enough, but I welcome it.

“Why? He’s fresh at this. I want to welcome him and I want to expose him at this before everyone else. If he had the run I had. If he had to go through the people I went through, he would have gotten exposed f*cking three fights ago.”

Israel Adesanya Refuses to Let the Past Affect His Emotional State Going into UFC 281

Much has been said about Israel Adesanya’s UFC 281 main event with Alex Pereira. Most of it has revolved around the brutal knockout that Pereira delivered to ‘Stylebender’ in their GLORY Kickboxing rematch from 2017. However, Adesanya refuses to let the mistakes of his past affect his mental state going into Saturday night’s UFC title fight. 

“I know right now I can’t get emotional about what I’m going to do. It’s not going to serve me in any way to get emotional about it. And again, I let this go a long time ago. The knockout never annoyed me when I watched it. When I watched it what annoyed me was round two. I didn’t stay true to my style. You know me, you know my style. I didn’t stay true to my style and the way I pick people apart. When I hurt them. Even when I call fights, I see people headhunting. I’m like, ‘Go to the body, go to the leg.’

“I vary my attacks a little bit with him, but not enough where I was just trying to take him out. I was literally just trying to take him out and I don’t like that about my style so that’s what annoyed me. That’s what really got to me like, ‘F*ck. Why didn’t I stay true to my style?’ But yeah, I’ve let that go. Like I said, I’m not holding onto anything that doesn’t serve me. He can hold onto that knockout, but it’s not going to serve him when it’s Saturday night. It’s not going to serve him.”

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