Adesanya details conversation with Alex Pereira following UFC 281

Israel Adesanya details private conversation with Alex Pereira following UFC 281 bout with both fighters showing respect… but former middleweight champion insists that the ‘war still wages on’ between the pair

  • Israel Adesanya suffered his first KO loss in MMA at the hands of Alex Pereira
  • The Kiwi explained that the pair shared respect following their fight at UFC 281
  • But Adesanya was quick to point out that the rivals still do not like each other
  • The former UFC champ insisted that he would like an immediate rematch

Israel Adesanya has shared details of his conversation with Alex Pereira after suffering a knockout loss to the Brazilian in the main event of UFC 281.

After heading into the final round ahead on all three judges’ scorecards, Adesanya suffered the first defeat of his UFC career at 185lbs when Pereira connected with his patented left hook and followed up with a series of strikes forcing referee Marc Goddard to stop the contest.

Victory for the 35-year-old marks the third time Pereira had triumphed in meetings between the pair, with the former two-weight GLORY champion twice besting Adesanya in kickboxing.

Israel Adesanya has revealed that he shared a moment of respect with Alex Pereira following their clash at UFC 281

Though there was no love lost in the build up to their trilogy bout, Adesanya acknowledged explained the rivals did share a moment of respect inside the Octagon at Madison Square Garden.

‘I told him after the fight, when I took a bow to the crowd, he came up to me and said, ‘Hey, hey… respect, respect.’ And I was like, ‘I don’t like you, you don’t like me, but respect.’ And we shook hands. Energies don’t mix and that’s okay. This is war. So war still wages on.’ Adesanya told the MMA Hour.

The result marks Adesanya’s second defeat since stepping away from kickboxing and transitioning to competing in mixed martial arts full-time in 2017.

Adesnya suffered the first KO defeat of his MMA career when he was stopped in the fifth round

The Kiwi insisted that he would like an immediate rematch with Pereira sometime next year

With five defenses of the 185lbs title, the Kiwi is division’s second most successful champion of all time behind only his former opponent Anderson Silva.

Despite murmurs that the UFC might offer former champion Robert Whittaker the next title shot in the middleweight division, Adesanya affirmed that, regardless of who is holding the belt, he would like to immediately rematch Pereira sometime in 2023.

‘I’ll still fight him. If he was going to fight someone else and lose the belt, I’ll still fight him [next]. I’ll fight him. I hope he’s the champion, but I’m just saying, hypothetically, I’ll still fight him. 

‘I’m crazy, bro. I can beat him. I know I can beat him. You’ve seen I can beat him. He just I won’t say luck, f*** luck he just invested well. A good game plan.’

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