Israel Adesanya thinks he is the reason why Alex Pereira even got signed to the UFC and is fighting for the title so soon in his career.
Adesanya and Pereira fought twice in kickboxing with the Brazilian winning twice including one by KO. The KO defeat was the last time Adesanya fought in kickboxing as he transitioned to MMA and had a ton of success. Just 14 months after signing with the promotion he won the interim belt and has been the undisputed champion since October 2019.
However, Pereira has always loomed over Adesanya and after he returned to MMA with a KO win, he was signed to the promotion. Not only was he signed, but after three fights he is already fighting for the belt, which Adesanya says is because of him.
Adesanya Plans A Horror Movie On Pereira
“Without me, he wouldn’t be here. Without me, he would’ve been exposed a long time ago. I cleared the way,” Adesanya said on The MMA Hour. “I cleared the division, so there was not really anyone else to fight, I cleared the way for him to get to the top.”
Perhaps Pereira would have eventually been signed due to his kickboxing experience, but there’s no question he was fast-tracked to the belt because of his history with Adesanya. It has only added to the hype of their UFC 281 title fight as both men are vowing to finish the other.
“I want to be the first person he sees when he wakes up,” Adesanya said to TMZ Sports. “I want to make sure I’m right in his line of sight so when he wakes up, he’s looking at me and then looking at the ref, and I want to be the first person he sees when he wakes up. That’s how I see this fight going.”
Do you agree with Israel Adesanya that he’s the reason Alex Pereira got signed to the UFC?