Israel Adesanya reveals PCL injury almost forced him to withdraw from UFC 281 clash with Alex Pereira

Israel Adesanya
Mandatory Credit: MMA Junkie

Former undisputed UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, has revealed a lingering posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) almost forced him to withdraw from last weekend’s UFC 281 main event against Alex Pereira – limiting his preparation for hte middleweight title fight.

Taking main event honors at UFC 281 in Madison Square Garden in his third Octagon appearance of this year, Adesanya suffered a fifth round knockout loss to Sao Paulo striker, Pereira, dropping his undisputed middleweight crown, as well as suffering his first loss at the weight class in his mixed martial arts career.

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For Brazilian striker, Pereira, the former GLORY Kickboxing champion achieved UFC spoils inside just four Octagon outings, having previously landed a duo of high-profile victories over Nigerian-Kiwi striker, Adesanya during their respective kickboxing tenures. 

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Israel Adesanya reveals how a PCL injury almost forced his withdrawal from UFC 281

Revealing how he was suffering from “some medical stuff” ahead of his New York outing against Pereira, Adesanya told comedian and podcast host, Andrew Schulz how he had suffered a PCL injury in the lead-up to his fight with the former.

“Israel Adesanya told @andrewschulz that he nearly pulled out of #UFC281 after injuring the PCL in his left knee,” Shakiel Mahjouri tweeted. “He only boxed and grappled for three weeks, no kicking, to help it heal in time for the Alex Pereira fight.” 

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“Breaking news – I was gonna pull out of this fight early on,” Israel Adesanya said. “Last time I fought in New York, [UFC] 230, I was gonna pull out of that fight [with Derek Brunson], with three weeks left. But then with – Brunson, with my knee, this knee [slaps right knee], but I hand cortisone injection, I took a whole five days off, nothing, no nothing, five days off. And then it just got better. …” 

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“This time, from the last fight with (Jared) Cannonier, I hurt my PCL, and that’s the thing that keeps your knee from going backwards,” Israel Adesanya continued. “Early in camp, I had some problems, so there was – how many weeks? Maybe like three weeks, I just did boxing – boxing and grappling, no kicking. … I was gonna pull out early on, but I was like, ‘Nah, I wanna get this done.’ I’m a prideful man. I’ll be damned if people say I’m scared of this guy (Alex Pereira), because I know I’m not.”