UFC middleweight Alex Pereira says he made champion Israel Adesanya cry after knocking him out during their time competing in Glory Kickboxing.
Pereira is coming off an impressive UFC debut at UFC 268, as he finished Andreas Michailidis with a flying knee and punches in Round 2. Pereira, a former multi-division kickboxing world champion, signed with the UFC last year in a full-time transition to MMA.
To go along with his incredible combat accolades, he’s also the only man ever to finish Adesanya in any sport. He defeated Adesanya via unanimous decision in 2016 before knocking him out in the rematch in 2017 at Glory of Heroes 7.
During an interview with PVT’s Marcelo Alonso, Pereira revealed how he shook Adesanya’s confidence following the finish.
“I don’t know if with his friends, right, with the people close to him, he’s that arrogant guy, that annoying guy, because every time I met the guy, it was all that arrogance, that ego, he was always like that,” Pereira said. “Since our first fight in China, he was a guy who pissed me off a lot, from the weigh-in to the fight. Even losing, when there was the rematch here in Brazil he made a post that I don’t really remember, but it was something like ‘I’ll have to beat Pereira in his backyard and then run out of the favela’. It was something like that, right?
“I only saw him at the weigh-in and the fight. After the fight I saw him crying outside in Ibirapuera. Sitting on a low wall with his trainer – that’s it.” (h/t SportsKeeda)
Pereira and Adesanya could be on a collision course once again in the UFC. Adesanya will face former champion Robert Whittaker in a rematch at UFC 271, but the door remains open in the middleweight title picture.
Adesanya has also previously said that he expects to meet Pereira once again, this time in the Octagon.
If Pereira can continue his winning ways, he could earn the opportunity to defeat Adesanya for the third time. But this time, Adesanya will have more tools at his disposal in MMA.
Do you think we’ll see Alex Pereira vs. Israel Adesanya in the UFC?