Former undisputed UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya vows to take arch-rival, Alex Pereira’s head in their UFC 287 title rematch next weekend, and it appears the challenger has no intention of fighting the Brazilian in a trilogy bout, immediately, at least.

Adesanya, a former undisputed middleweight champion under the UFC banner, headlined UFC 281 back in November of last year in a title defense against Pereira at Madison Square Garden.

Despite establishing a commanding lead over the Sao Paulo native, Adesanya was stopped in the final minutes of the fifth round at the Octagon fence, with Pereira stopping the City Kickboxing with a standing TKO in New York City.

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Slated to meet with Adesanya next weekend in Miami, Florida – Pereira enters the ‘Sunshine State’ clash against the former, with the knowledge of three prior wins over Adesanya, including two knockout victories over the course of their respective professional combat sports careers. 

Pereira, a former two-weight GLORY Kickboxing champion, has been vocal about his intentions to settle his rivalry with Adesanya in Florida next month, even alluding to the ex-champion’s impending death at the pay-per-view event

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Israel Adesanya eyes fresh matchups following UFC 287 next weekend

Admitting that next weekend will likely come as his last chance to avenge one of his three losses to Pereira, Adesanya also appeared to welcome a fresh matchup regardless of outcome at UFC 287.

“I just like to put that pressure on myself, you know, I mean, I fight at 205 [pounds], too,” Israel Adesanya said on his YouTube channel. “Yeah, I just like to put that pressure on myself. Also, I don’t like fighting the same people. I want to fight bodies. I want to take other heads, you know.”

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“So, I want to get this guy [Alex Pereira] – [I’m] gonna get this guy, and I can move on to another head,” Israel Adesanya continued. (Transcribed by MMA News)

Prior to his title defense loss to Pereira, Adesanya defended his crown against Jared Cannonier, Robert Whittaker, Marvin Vettori, Paulo Costa, and Yoel Romero. 

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.