Alex Pereira shared details about his recent run-in with longtime rival Israel Adesanya at an airport.

Pereira has had a long and storied history with ‘The Last Stylebender’ dating back to their days competing under the GLORY Kickboxing banner in the 2010s. It was there that the Brazilian boogeyman scored back-to-back wins against Adesanya, including a vicious third-round knockout at Glory of Heroes 15 in 2017. Fast forward five years and the two familiar foes would meet once again inside the Octagon. Pereira picked up right where he left off, earning a shocking fifth-round knockout to capture the middleweight world championship at UFC 281.

Adesanya would finally break through, scoring his own highlight-reel-worthy knockout against Alex Pereira in their MMA rematch at UFC 287. Despite the two fighters sitting at 1-1 inside the Octagon, both men have seemingly accepted that their April rematch was the end of the line and neither man appears to hold ill will toward the other. During an appearance on MMA Fighting’s Portuguese-language podcast Trocação Franca, Alex Pereira discussed his recent run-in with Adesanya while departing Australia and revealed that the two combat sports icons were very cordial with one another, even sharing a laugh during the brief interaction.

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“We were both in Australia and at the same hotel, some people from my crew saw him there but we never actually met there,” Pereira said. “When we were leaving, at the Los Angeles [to] New York connection, we met in the line and said hi, had some laughs. I got there first, he came in after, and we greeted.”

Alex Pereira admits that a rivalry with ‘The Last Stylebender’ will always exist, but right now, ‘Poatan’ is turning his attention toward his next test, Jan Blachowicz.

“The rivalry will always exist,” Pereira said. “I’m fighting [Jan Blachowicz] now, I have to have rivalry with the guy I’m fighting, you know? He’s in there and he wants to kill me, and I want to do the same to him. How am I going to treat him [nicely]? I have to be mean there.

“It’s the same thing with Adesanya. For example, if I were to fight him again, we would have a rivalry. But now, why? We’ll meet; Adesanya, he’s there with a teammate, I’m in the same spot, and we can’t [cross paths] because we’ll destroy the whole place and beat each other up? That doesn’t exist. That type of rivalry doesn’t exist with me.”

Alex Pereira Sets Sights on Conquering the Light Heavyweight Division Before an Inevitable Return to Middleweight

Alex Pereira’s cut to the middleweight division was a daunting task that required weeks of preparation and torment, but ‘Poatan’ is confident that he can continue to compete at 185 should the opportunity present itself. For now, the former multi-time world champion is going to give his body a rest by competing at light heavyweight but he fully intends on making his way back to middleweight once he has conquered the 205-pound weight class.

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“I can make 185 right now,” he said. “If I had to make [185] on July 29. I could, but I have to give my body a rest from this weight cut. So I’ll fight two or three times in this division. I don’t know what can happen [next], but I think I’ll be recovered to fight again at 185.”

With his light heavyweight debut scheduled for UFC 291 on July 29, Alex Pereira is already looking ahead to a potential clash with the division’s reigning titleholder, Jamahal Hill.

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“It’s a fight that will sell a lot,” Pereira said of potentially facing Hill. “I think he’s going to fight one more time and I’ll root for him to win, because it’s a fight that will sell a lot, and that’s a fight I want, if I were to choose. Between Prochazka and Jamahal, I’d choose Jamahal.”

Alex Pereira suggested that his next opponent, Jan Blachowicz, is a more technical fighter than Hill, but recognizes that ‘Sweet Dreams’ will present a more intriguing matchup for the fans and himself.

“I think Blachowicz is more technical,” Pereira added. “Jamahal is more crazy, hits a bit too open — which is dangerous, but at that same time that’s very good for me.”

Craig Pekios is a freelance writer born and raised in Bettendorf, IA. Joining LowKick MMA in May 2022, Craig has more than 2,500 articles published that focus on the world of mixed martial arts and boxing, including news, event previews, results, analysis, and op-eds. Aside from working with LowKick MMA, Craig has contributed to news outlets Overtime Heroics, Sportskeeda, and MiddleEasy.