Dana White says Israel Adesanya aimed for an Alex Pereira showdown: “He wanted Pereira.”

ufc 281 alex pereira israel adesanya Dana White
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

UFC president Dana White recently sat down with TMZ to discuss the upcoming UFC 281 main event. Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira have fought previously in kickboxing with Brazil’s Pereira taking two victories. On November 12, the two are booked for a showdown with the UFC middleweight title on the line.

Israel Adesanya did not hesitate

The Nigerian-Kiwi fighter did not hesitate to accept a bout against ‘Poatan,’ a man who had previously knocked him out. Dana White explained:

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“Especially if you look at the back story with [Alex] Pereira. Israel wanted to turn around immediately. And we told him he’s fighting Pereira, he was like ‘Perfect! That’s exactly what I want.'”

He continued, saying Pereira may not have the mental edge many viewers are assuming. He said:

“You’d think mentally Pereira has the edge in this fight. But Israel didn’t try to stay away from this fight or back out of it … He did not care. He wanted Pereira. Pereira wants him. There’s nothing better than that when you’re a fight fan.”

‘The Last Stylebender’ is the UFC’s dream champion as he is always interested in defending his title. Dana White said:

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“Israel Adesanya likes to fight all the time. He’s ready to go, he doesn’t care who he fights. A lot of people talk a lot of smack publicly. But behind the scenes, it’s a whole ‘nother ball game when you’re trying to make fights with guys.”

UFC 281 is the perfect time for this fight, according to Dana White. He explained:

“They’re facing each other at the prime of their career in the UFC. It literally doesn’t get any better than this for a middleweight championship fight.”

Dana White discusses Israel Adesanya vs Alex Pereira and more on TMZ. See the full interview below:

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