UFC President Dana White has weighed in following Israel Adesanya’s loss to Alex Pereira at UFC 281.
Adesanya looked to be on his way to a decision victory against Pereira, but it never truly seemed like he was out of danger. That hunch ended up being correct as Pereira had “The Last Stylebender” in a world of trouble with a barrage of punches in the final round. Referee Marc Goddard determined that Adesanya could no longer intelligently defend himself, and the fight was stopped.
Speaking to reporters during the UFC 281 post-fight press conference, White heaped praise on Adesanya for wanting to take this fight despite the risk (via MMAJunkie).
“(Adesanya) wanted this fight,” White said. “A lot of people talk publicly and it’s a whole different story behind the scenes. That guy is an absolute stud. He always wants to stay active.
“In a fight that most guys would stall, ‘Give me more time. Give me this, that,’ he dove right into this fight. His only loss was when he tried to move up in weight to 205. You’ve got to respect him as champ and what he’s done. … I wouldn’t rule (an immediate rematch) out.”
Israel Adesanya now sits with just the second defeat in his pro MMA career. This is the third time he’s lost to Pereira. Adesanya suffered two losses to Pereira in kickboxing, and now he’s dropped an MMA bout to him.
After the fight, Adesanya said he felt he could’ve continued and survived the barrage. With that said, he also expressed gratitude for being in the position he’s in.