Alex Pereira believes Israel Adesanya didn’t want to fight him.
Pereira and Adesanya have fought twice in kickboxing with the Brazilian winning both including one by KO. With that, the two have a history and a bit of a rivalry, and ever since Pereira signed with UFC many fans have wanted to see the pair fight again. The two will finally meet this Saturday night at UFC 281 for the middleweight belt but Pereira claims Adesanya was forced to take this scrap.
“If he really wanted this, he would have done that as soon as I signed with the UFC,” Pereira said to MMAFighting. “He’s being forced to fight, he’s the champion. It’s obvious that he cares about the belt.”
According to Alex Pereira, he believes Israel Adesanya didn’t want to fight him because he knows how dangerous he is. Along with that, Pereira says he’s a much different striker and will pose problems for Adesanya who wants to protect his belt.
Pereira Says Adesanya Is Mentally Shook
“He knows I’m not like the other guys he fought, otherwise the results would have been different in both times we fought,” Pereira said. “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. Is he good? Is he the champion? He’s there because he did what he did. Everybody knows my potential and sees my evolution. Right after I got in the UFC he said he would like to fight me maybe after four fights but ‘calm down’. He wanted [to fight me], but only after I did four fights. Why? He had in his mind I could lose to someone and he would say, ‘Is that the guy you want me to fight?’
“I never believed that, but some people did. Others realize now he was bluffing,” Pereira continued. “That’s not what he wants. 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.”
Alex Pereira is coming off a KO win over Sean Strickland in July to earn a title shot.
What do you make of Alex Pereira claiming Israel Adesanya was forced to take this fight?