Alex Pereira urges Israel Adesanya to thank referee for UFC 281 stoppage: ‘Thank him for saving your life’

Alex Pereira
Mandatory Credit: Chris Unger - Zuffa LLC

Off the back of his stunning championship victory at UFC 281 last weekend, Brazilian striking ace, Alex Pereira has issued a scatching response to arch-rival, Israel Adesanya – urging him to thank referee, Marc Goddard for saving his life with his main event stoppage, as well as offering him one more opportunity to score a win over him.

Headlining the Madison Square Garden event, Sao Paulo finisher, Pereira rallied from losing three of the opening four rounds against champion, Adesanya – springing with a brutal combination at the fence in the fifth and final round to halt the Nigerian-Kiwi’s title reign and mint himself as the undisputed UFC middleweight champion.

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Following the defeat, much was made of referee, Goddard’s stoppage of the fight, with the British official awarding Pereira a standing TKO win over Adesanya – who immediately protested against the nature of the stoppage, before renaging on his comments.

Alex Pereira offers Israel Adesanya opportunity to land title rematch

Sharing his thoughts on the stoppage, Pereira claimed Adesanya should thank Goddard for saving his life, and claimed he would be willing to fight the former champion next in a title re-run.

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“(Israel) Adesanya stop making excuses saying that the referee stopped the fight early…” Alex Pereira posted on his official Instagram account. “You have to thank him for saving your life. The way you were with your head down looking at the ground, I only needed one or two more hits to connect a good knee to your face so wouldn’t know the outcome.”

“As I said at that point in the video, you were a great opponent and I respect you for that,” Alex Pereira continued. “Assume the mistakes along with your team without taking away my merits. You will have one more chance! You’re next!” 

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In the fallout following his championship loss, Adesanya revealed a persistent PCL injury almost ruled him from his UFC 281 headliner with Pereira, however, maintained he would fight the Brazilian in his next Octagon appearance.