Alex Pereira is focused on becoming UFC champion, not Israel Adesanya, saying “maybe if I had lost to him it would annoy me a little bit.”
Pereira is a former GLORY kickboxing standout who will be making his UFC debut this Saturday when he takes on Andreas Michailidis at UFC 268. In his kickboxing past, Pereira actually defeated Adesanya, the current UFC middleweight champion. Although Pereira is fighting against Michailidis this weekend, he can’t help but think ahead to a potential fight with Adesanya, especially when asked by the media. But Pereira also wants to make it perfectly clear that his focus is 100 percent on becoming the UFC champ, not Adesanya.
Speaking to the media ahead of UFC 268, Pereira made it clear that he has arrived in the world’s ultimate proving grounds to be the world champion. It just so happens that, right now at least, the belt in his weight class is currently held by Adesanya. But as far as Pereira goes, his goal is to win the belt, and he is going to do everything he can to get there.
“I didn’t come here after Adesanya, I came here to be a champion. Who knows, maybe by the time I get there he’s no longer the champion anymore,” Pereira said (via MMAjunkie.com). “So I’m just taking it step by step. I just got to the organization and I’m just aiming to be a champion here. If I get there and it’s him, fine. If it’s not him, I’ll work with what I have.”
Pereira will look to earn a big win this weekend against Michailidis at UFC 268 and make some noise in his UFC debut. With a big win, there is a chance he could be fast-tracked to face someone closer to the top-15, especially since he is 34 years old.
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