Israel Adesanya has hailed the storied rivalry between himself and Alex Pereira ahead of their battle at UFC 281.
There are no certainties in mixed martial arts and while there are some fighters that always seem to be ‘inevitable’ victors whenever they step into the Octagon, almost everyone has suffered a defeat at one stage of their career.
Israel Adesanya is no different after his loss to Jan Blachowicz at 205 pounds, but at middleweight, he’s been the king of the division since unifying the belts against Robert Whittaker almost three years ago.
‘Stylebender’ is easily one of the most talented fighters in the sport and although he has a tendency to ruffle some feathers, and occasionally put on unremarkable fights, this is a man who knows how to win when it matters the most.
Following on from his last outing against Jared Cannonier, it felt as if the next best challenger to step up and take on the reigning champion was Alex Pereira.
The man known as ‘Poatan’ is just 3-0 since signing for the Ultimate Fighting Championship but in that time, he’s been able to showcase why he’s one of the scariest strikers in the game today.
It’s been well documented that Adesanya and Pereira have fought twice before with the Brazilian being 2-0 up from their kickboxing days, but in a recently released promo for their upcoming showdown, Adesanya made it clear that he plans on changing the narrative.
“When I fought him, I thought I won the first fight. In the second fight, he was honestly on skates, the referee saved his ass because I was about to drop him. The third round he knocks me out in his own country – that’s a beautiful story for him, but I’m still here.”
“This is perfect for the storyline, leading up to everything.
“A guy like that, like I’ve said, he’s a beast. If you can make that look easy, it just makes you look legendary.
“I know how to beat him and I can do it, I know I can do it, and I will. I’m gonna shut this guy up, I’m gonna shock the world.”
Madison Square Garden awaits
A collision like this requires the proper stage, and the UFC is going above and beyond to ensure they deliver a blockbuster night of entertainment on November 12.
In the main event of UFC 281, Adesanya will defend the belt against Pereira at Madison Square Garden in New York City – also known as the world’s most famous arena.