Former UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya maintains he has never lost any sort of motivation ahead of his massive title rematch with foe, Alex Pereira at UFC 287, claiming he needs to beat the Brazilian in their much-anticipated showdown.
Adesanya, who headlines UFC 287 against Pereira from the Miami-Dade Arena on April 8., will attempt to avenge a pair of kickboxing losses to the Brazilian, as well as November loss to Pereira – where he dropped the undisputed middleweight title courtesy of a rallying fifth round knockout.
The Nigerian-Kiwi had built up a considerable lead on all three judge’s scorecards during the Madison Square Garden headliner, however, suffered a late, fifth round TKO loss to Pereira, who struck UFC gold himself inside just four fights undet the promotion’s banner.
Slated to meet with the City Kickboxing staple in an immediate championship rematch, Pereira was linked also with a light heavyweight excursion against recently minted gold holder, Jamahal Hill, however, will first draw fierce rival, Adesanya in April instead.
Israel Adesanya insists he “needs” to defeat Alex Pereira in their UFC 287 grudge match
Attending UFC 284 in Perth, Australia over the weekend, Adesanya, who enters April’s grudge match as a title challenger in the organization for the first time since 2019, admits he needs to defeat the Sao Paulo phenom, in order to settle their longstanding score.
“I’ve never not been motivated to fight this guy (Alex Pereira), but for this one,” Israel Adesanya told assembled media during his media availability at UFC 284. “I’ve put the pressure on myself. I have to beat this guy… they can say whatever they want.”
“It’s 1-0 or 3-0, I don’t keep score, I settle them and I just need one and I’m going to get it done,” Israel Adesanya continued. (H/T Sportskeeda)
Adesanya saw his perfect middleweight run as a mixed martial arts halted in his loss to Pereira, having landed victories over Yoel Romero, Paulo Costa, Marvin Vettori, Robert Whittaker, and Jared Cannonier before his November blemish.