Israel Adesanya names the one circumstance that could lead to a fifth fight with Alex Pereira

By Susan Cox - June 12, 2023

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is naming the one circumstance that could lead to a fifth fight with Alex Pereira.

Israel Adesanya, Alex Pereira

Yes, Adesanya and Pereira have a history and it goes all the way back to kickboxing days.

Adesanya (24-2 MMA) most recently defeated Pereira (7-2 MMA) in April of this year at UFC 287 where he scored a knockout at 4:21 of round 2, reclaiming the middleweight title from the Brazilian.

Following the loss, Pereira made the decision to move to light heavyweight and he will make his debut at the new weight at UFC 291 which takes place on Saturday, July 29th in Salt Lake City, Utah. ‘Poatan’ will face Jan Blachowicz (29-9 MMA) in the co-main event.

Should Pereira be victorious against Blachowicz, UFC president Dana White has said it would ‘make sense’ for him to challenge for the 205-pound title. If he can do that and capture the belt, Adesanya is making it known he would give some serious thought to moving up himself and having that fifth fight with Pereira.

Adesanya, speaking on ‘The MMA Hour’ with Ariel Helwani, had the following to say about getting back in the cage with Pereira:

“If he wins the belt at 205 I’ll do it again. But if not – I think he’s done with it. I’m done with it. I think everyone else wants to see it, but we’ve moved on.”

Continuing ‘The Last Stylebender’ said:

“If I were to bet money on it, no (I don’t think it happens). 205, I’ve been there, it’s hard. If he wins the 205 belt, though, they might give him a fast track like they did with me, and then they’re going to have a magic, crazy, f**king epic fight at 205 with me and him. That will be us for the fifth time.”

Speaking of his history with ‘Poatan’, Israel Adesanya said (h/t MMAJunkie):

“If we fight another 10 times and he beats me all 10 times, I don’t care. It’s not about that. I just have to prove to myself that I can beat this guy. Cause every time I fought him – the first time I won the fight the judges got it wrong. The second time I was beating him and he got me. Third time, again, MSG, I was beating him and he got me. I’m like, ‘We know we can beat this guy.’ He just has that spirit. He’s a great fighter. Honestly, he’s a cool guy. I like his story. Even Brazil when he knocked me out it’s a cool story. It’s a cool story for him.”

Concluding the 33-year-old finished with:

“But I just know I can beat this guy. I put so much pressure on myself that last camp. I went to some place. … I’m never going to let my story be written like this, like, ‘Oh, he’s the greatest ever, but he could never beat this guy.’ So, I made sure to put it on myself to beat this guy, and I did.”

Israel Adesanya has fought at light heavyweight, losing by unanimous decision to then champ, Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259 in March of 2021.  It was to be Adesanya’s 1st loss in the Octagon, until Pereira defeated him at UFC 281 in November of last year, handing him his 2nd loss in the cage.

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