A rare picture of Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira from 2016 is making the rounds on Twitter. A page with the handle @fightpicsgofar shared the photo from when ‘The Last Stylebender’ faced ‘Poatan’ for the first time in kickboxing at Glory of Heroes 1.
The picture looks like it was taken right after the staredown before their kickboxing bout. The event was held in Shenzhen, China.
Check out the pic of a younger Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira below:
Israel Adesanya went on to lose his first fight with Alex Pereira by unanimous decision in a razor-close fight.
‘The Last Stylebender’ faced ‘Poatan’ in a rematch a year later in 2017 at Glory of Heroes 7.
Adesanya got the better of the exchanges in the first two rounds. However, in the third, Pereira found a picture-perfect left hook that put Adesanya’s lights out.
Check out the highlights of their rematch at Glory of Heroes 7:
‘The Last Stylebender’ faced ‘Poatan’ for a third time, this time in MMA, at UFC 281. Like their second kickboxing outing, Adesanya got the better of the exchanges in the first four rounds. Similar to their 2017 fight, Alex Pereira dug deep and found a TKO finish in the fifth round after his corner raised his spirits.
The loss marked Israel Adesanya’s first in the middleweight division in MMA. A rematch between him and Pereira has been scheduled for UFC 287 on April 8.
Israel Adesanya may have taken Alex Pereira rematch for fear of ‘Poatan’ choosing another opponent, as per Daniel Cormier
According to former UFC two-weight champion and Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier, Adesanya may have accepted the rematch against Pereira earlier than he wanted. The reason for this, according to ‘DC’, might be because ‘Poatan’ is getting too many offers to fight different opponents.
Cormier discussed the topic with Ryan Clark on the DC & RC podcast and said:
“It feels a little bit like maybe Izzy wasn’t going to fight [Pereira] now, but when his name started to ring bells in so many different areas, he goes, maybe it’s now or maybe never because as you know many people feel like Alex is a vulnerable champion [due to his lack of wrestling].”
Skip to 4:20 for Daniel Cormier’s analysis of Adesanya vs. Pereira II:
Pereira previously stated that he’d like to give Adesanya a rematch in MMA but was willing to fight Robert Whittaker if the former champ wasn’t available.
Furthermore, following his teammate Glover Teixeira’s loss at UFC 283 to Jamahal Hill, Pereira was seen sizing up ‘Sweet Dreams’. Hill even said that he would entertain a fight with ‘Poatan’ for the light heavyweight title.
However, Pereira is set to rematch Adesanya at UFC 287.