GLORY kickboxing star Alex Pereira believes that UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya won’t fight him again after already losing twice.
Pereira is the current GLORY middleweight and interim light heavyweight champion. He is one of the top-ranked kickboxers in the world and has been for several years now. In 2017, Pereira met Adesanya in a kickboxing match at Glory of Heroes 7 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In what is still the lone KO loss to Adesanya’s combat sports career, Pereira knocked out Adesanya in devastating fashion. Pereira also defeated Adesanya via decision in 2016.
Although he has just three MMA fights, the 33-year-old Pereira’s name has been bandied about in MMA circles recently ever since training partner Laureano Staropoli said that he was preparing for his UFC debut. Naturally, fans and media have speculated about a trilogy fight with Adesanya considering Pereira is still the only man to ever knock Adesanya out.
In an exclusive interview with BJPenn.com, Pereira said he was impressed by Adesanya’s recent win over Paulo Costa but doesn’t believe Adesanya would fight him again.
“Even before Adesanya fought Borrachinha I said in interviews it’d be a tough fight. I fought Adesanya twice and I know how dangerous he is. He’s tough, very smart, agile, a complete fighter as a kickboxer, and in MMA. Paulo had been doing a great job so far in his career and could win that fight, but it was a bad style matchup for him. He needed to do some changes,” Pereira said through his manager/interpreter Matheus Aquino.
“I don’t think Adesanya would be interested in that fight. I beat him twice and I’m the only man to KO him. We never know what the future holds. It could happen someday.”
Pereira confirmed in the interview that he continues to train his complete MMA game. His bread-and-butter will always be striking, but Pereira says he’s training his grappling, too.
“I do train MMA and the ground game, but of course my priority is my striking as I’m a champion in the best Kickboxing organization in the world and I need to be at the top of my game. Training MMA actually helps a bit with that,” Pereira said.
Interestingly, Pereria said that his contract with GLORY allows him to compete twice for LFA, which is a UFC feeder league. Although GLORY currently is not holding events due to COVID-19, Pereira said that is still his focus and he named some potential superfights.
“My GLORY contract allows me to fight MMA twice a year on LFA, but my focus is on GLORY. I’m very well paid and they have great plans for my career. I’m the MW champion and the LHW interim champion. I want to square things with Artem Vakhitov to unify the LHW belt. After that the plan is for possibly superfights with Badr Hari and Rico Verhoeven,” Pereira said.
Finally, the Brazilian wanted to address a fake Twitter account claiming to be him. Although Pereira said he was initially amused by the fake ‘Alex Pereira,’ he didn’t appreciate the fake account claiming he had signed with the UFC, something which could upset GLORY brass.
“That first tweet using the Jon Jones quote to Daniel Cormier was clever, but it stopped being funny when the guy started talking to people like he was me and posted that I signed with the UFC. That could put me in trouble with GLORY, I could be fined and have other issues because many media in Brazil and the US published it like it was real. It was nice to see that people and media are interested in seeing me fight, but there’s a correct approach to everything,” Pereira said.
Do you think we will one day see the rematch between Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya in either kickboxing or in the UFC?