Alex Pereira is not impressed with Israel Adesanya’s flashy preparations for their UFC 281 championship fight.
Adesanya has been sharing all sorts of footage from his daily life and training sessions on his YouTube channel and social media accounts. One of the more recent (and eyebrow raising) clips shows ‘The Last Stylebender’ working his movement by dodging tennis balls.
Adesanya's prep for #UFC281 is different 🎾 😳
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) September 25, 2022
Pereira has been getting more critical of Adesanya as their fight approaches, and he once again attacked the UFC middleweight champion for goofing around.
“Training with tennis ball is easy!” Pereira declared on Instagram. “I want to see boxing training on top of a hoverboard”
Alex Pereira fires back at Israel Adesanya’s tennis ball training 😂
“Training with a tennis ball is easy! I want to see him train boxing on a hoverboard.” pic.twitter.com/DiOpJuXtse
— Alex Behunin (@AlexBehunin) September 28, 2022
Israel Adesanya has built a reputation for being an eccentric champion that celebrates his geeky side. He’s not afraid to be himself, but it has left him open to criticism from his opponents, who often accuse him of being cringe. After Adesanya claimed he’d leave Pereira ‘frozen like Elsa,’ the Brazilian kickboxer didn’t hold back.
“Look, number one, he spent a childhood watching cartoons,” Pereira said on The MMA Hour. “I spent my childhood working at a tire shop, trying to make money, and provide for my family for a better life. I didn’t watch those cartoons.”
“Number two, I don’t speak English so when he comes and says ‘Oh, I’m going to leave him frozen, and all this kinda stuff, like Naruto, Dragon Ball Z, Frozen, it makes no difference for me. I don’t watch no cartoons!”
Pereira is clearly implying Adesanya’s tennis ball training is more childish behavior, hence the hoverboard.
UFC 281 takes place on November 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. It marks the third time Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira will compete against each other in combat sports. Pereira is 2-0 over Adesanya in kickboxing, holding a 2016 decision win and a 2017 knockout win against ‘The Last Stylebender.’
It’s these wins and Pereira’s violent wins over Andreas Michailidis and Sean Strickland in the UFC that have people so interested in seeing ‘Poatan’ fight Adesanya for the middleweight title. Adesanya has welcomed the challenge despite Pereira’s relatively scant 3-0 UFC experience, and is no doubt looking forward to avenging those losses in the octagon.
Further down the card, women’s strawweight champion Carla Esparza faces off against Zhang Weili, and Dustin Poirier takes on Michael Chandler in a battle of top lightweight contenders.