Two-time UFC middleweight titleholder, Israel Adesanya has denied claims that his knockout blow against arch-rival, Alex Pereira was a “hail mary” strike at UFC 287 last month – admitting he knew he could take some of the Brazilian’s strikes at the Octagon fence. 

Adesanya, who headlined UFC 287 last month in an undisputed middleweight championship rematch against arch-foe, Pereira, managed to rack up his first victory over the Sao Paulo native in their four-fight series. 

Countering after being stunned at the Octagon fence in the second round, Adesanya launched two massive counter right hooks, dropping Pereira to the canvas as he recorded a spectacular KO, reclaiming his middleweight title.

Israel Adesanya denies the need for a hail mary finish of Alex Pereira at UFC 287

However, receiving some flak for his performance with many in the community claiming Adesanya luckily found a “hail mary” strike to finish Pereira, the Nigerian-Kiiw has denied that theory, calling his method to success, “freestyle”.

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“He (Alex Pereira) hurt my leg,” Israel Adesanya said on his YouTube channel. “I’m like, ‘Right, if I go southpaw to hide it…’ He hits me in the body and I’m like, ‘F*ck, okay, you know what? Just give it to him. He’s gonna come close.’ I’m like, ‘You’re right there now,’ so I gave him a few shots, cause I knew I could shell and I could see everything. Right, checkmate, boom. What f*cking hail mary is that? It’s freestyle.” (Transcribed by MMA News)

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Expected to return before the close of this year in a comeback to Sydney, Australia for the UFC, Adesanya has been earmarked to fight either former foe, Robert Whittaker, or surging contender, Dricus du Plessis next – taking umbrage with comments made from the latter in his pursuit of a title shot against him.

“He’s (Dricus du Plessis) created division,” Israel Adesanya said. “This is not the time for that sh*t. You could have definitely got the fight without talking all that sh*t. Well, be careful what you wish for. You got what you want. He’s next. I’m going to f*cking beat him until he’s black.”

“I’m going to f*cking take him to school, in the Octagon, and on history,” Israel Adesanya explained. “What he’s doing is creating divide. You can’t not know your history – I have never questioned him as an African, because yeah, you were born in Africa. South Africa. Of course, you’re an African. I have never questioned that. But who the f*ck is this cracker to tell me who the f*ck I am? Who the f*ck Kamaru (Usman) is, who the f*ck (Francis) Ngannou is? I’m like, are you dumb? As a product of colonization, you’re trying to tell me who the f*ck I am. You can take the boy out of Africa, but you can never take Africa out of the boy.”

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