Israel Adesanya doesn’t believe Alex Pereira deserves a title shot but is excited they are fighting.
Adesanya and Pereira have a history with one another as they fought twice in kickboxing with the Brazilian winning one by decision and one by KO. With that, once Pereira returned to MMA he was quickly signed to the UFC. He also only had to fight three times to get a title shot.
Although Pereira did knock out Sean Strickland back in July – who was a top-ranked contender – Adesanya isn’t sold he deserves a title shot. Yet, the two will meet again in the main event of UFC 281 and the champ is eager to expose Pereira.
“What have you done to earn the spot? I still don’t think he’s earned the spot but I welcome it because he’s fresh at this. I want to welcome him and I want to expose him at this,” Adesanya said on Morning Kombat. “If he had the run that I had, if he had to go through people that I went through, he would have been exposed three fights ago. He would have beaten some of those guys, definitely, but he would have been exposed along the way. I cleared the way for him because I cleared the division. It was a clear path right to me… I had a more impressive run. Let’s put it that way.”
Israel Adesanya certainly has a point as he rallied off five times before fighting for the interim belt. During that run, he headlined two cards and had beaten Anderson Silva, Derek Brunson, Brad Tavares, Marvin Vettori, and Rob Wilkinson. But, the fact these two fought twice in kickboxing is allowing this fight to happen sooner rather than later.
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