Ex-UFC champ Israel Adesanya slams Alex Pereira fans while defending his 1-3 record against ‘Poatan’

MixCollage 23 Apr 2024 07 04 PM 8412

Israel Adesanya has nothing, but respect for longtime rival Alex Pereira.

Pereira’s fans, on the other hand, not so much. Or as ‘The Last Stylebender’ likes to call them — “Poatards.”

Adesanya’s iconic rivalry with the reigning UFC light heavyweight world champion started all the way back in 2016 under the GLORY Kickboxing banner. There, Pereira scored back-to-back wins over Adesanya — one, a questionable unanimous decision and the other, an absolutely brutal third-round KO.

Israel Adesanya KO'd by Pereira

They picked up right where they left off inside the Octagon, with ‘Poatan’ finishing Adesanya in the fifth round of their UFC 281 headliner to claim the 185-pound crown.

Looking back on their legendary scraps during a recent appearance on Demetrious Johnson’s YouTube channel, Adesanya couldn’t help but vent his frustration over “casual” MMA fans who continue to ignore the success he had against Pereira despite holding a 1-3 record against the Brazilian.

“People, they’re so f*cking stupid,” Adesanya said. “In this first fight in China, I thought I won. These casuals don’t. These plebs don’t. I thought I won. Even he thought he won until he got his hand raised. The second time, I’m beating his ass and he gets me. Again in New York [at UFC 281], I’m beating him. Rocked him. Took him down, beat him, and he gets me.” 

Pereira KOs Israel Adesanya at UFC 281

Adesanya finally broke through five months removed from his third-straight loss to Pereira, retaking his middleweight title at UFC 287.

“I just knew that I can beat this guy,” Adesanya added. “It wasn’t about proving it to anyone else. I can beat this guy, so that last Miami one, I was in a different place. I had to tap into some darkness for that camp. People who knew me, I was different. Ain’t no way this motherf*cker is about to beat me four times. It’s about the story. So now I’ve beat him once. How ironic. I beat him once, but watch this. If I fight him again and knock him out, what are they going to say? ‘It’s 3-2. Now it’s best out of seven.’

“I’m 34. I’ve only got a certain amount of fights left. Why am I gonna fight the same guy however many times? I just want to prove it to myself.”

Israel Adesanya KOs Pereira

Israel Adesanya is grateful for the time he spent competing against Alex Pereira

Content to leave their series where it stands, Alex Pereira made the move to light heavyweight, earning a split-decision victory over former 205-pound champ Jan Blachowicz. That win set the stage for his world title clash with Jiri Prochazka. In November, the two warriors stepped under the main event spotlight at UFC 295 inside the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden.

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There, ‘Poatan’ delivered another highlight-reel-worthy knockout, finishing Prochazka in the second round to claim his second world title in a year.

“He’s a special fighter,” Adesanya said of Pereira. “He’s a special human being. What he’s done in this game — in fighting and what he’s done for his life as well, I’ll always respect him. I’m grateful for those moments because, for me, it taught me so much about myself and where I can go.”

Pereira is fresh off his first successful defense of the light heavyweight belt, dispatching Jamahal Hill in the opening round of their UFC 300 headliner on April 13.

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