At UFC 281, Alex Pereira ended Israel Adesanya’s reign as middleweight champion. The knockout victory was Pereira’s third win over Adesanya across two different promotions and combat sports.
‘Izzy’ previously lost twice to the Brazilian while the two competed at Glory Kickboxing. UFC middleweight Chris Curtis reacted to the championship fight and Pereira’s ability to will himself to victory against his favorite opponent.
Curtis spoke in an interview with Helen Yee on her YouTube channel and said:
“God, I’m not even an Izzy fan. Anyone that knows me, I get a lot of sh*t for not being an Izzy fan. Just not a fan. But I actually feel bad for Izzy, like bro, you have your own personal boogeyman. Like, how many times can you do everything right and the dude’s like, ‘And last second, ahaha! I win!’ Like he was winning the fight, what I thought it could have been four rounds to one maybe. Like going to have that fight ended, he was two minutes from like retaining his title. And Pereira does it again. You got your own personal f****** boogeyman. That is miserable.”
Curtis also suggested alternatives to Israel Adesanya to finally get one over ‘Poatan’:
“Like I would – at that point you just have to poison him. Because like you can’t defeat him in one-on-one combat so we gotta do the gladiator thing and like stab him or poison him before the fight. I think he’s played that sh*t off. Because like if one dude kept hounding me down my entire career and beating me, I’m gonna come find you at home. I’m settling this with knives, I don’t care.”
Watch Chris Curtis’ complete interview on Helen Yee Sports below:
Israel Adesanya’s coach Eugene Bareman not complaining about the stoppage in loss to Alex Pereira
UFC 281’s main event stoppage was deemed early by a section of the fans as Israel Adesanya was still on his feet while Alex Pereira threw heavy punches at him.
However, Adesanya’s long-time coach Eugene Bareman defended veteran referee Marc Goddard’s decision and refused to fault the stoppage. He said in an interview with Combat TV:
“I can’t sit here and truthfully say that was an early stoppage. I’m happy with the stoppage personally. I thought Israel was in trouble. Of all my experience that I’ve had in the sport, I saw some signs that he was in trouble. I felt that prolonging the fight longer than when Marc Goddard stopped it would’ve ended up not good for Israel’s health. So, I’m happy with the referee’s decision.”
Bareman also mentioned that the stoppage did not compromise Israel Adesanya further and will allow him to make a quicker recovery to fight again for his former belt.
Check out Eugene Bareman’s full interview with Combat TV below: