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Alex Pereira says he fought Israel Adesanya with an injury

Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira at UFC 281 [Image Courtesy: Getty Images]
Israel Adesanya (right) and Alex Pereira (left) at UFC 281 [Image Courtesy: Getty Images]

Alex Pereira claims that he fought Israel Adesanya at UFC 281 with an injured right hand. Apparently, this also prevented him from training grappling for two to three weeks before his title bout.

'Poatan' emerged victorious against his old kickboxing nemesis at UFC 281, beating 'The Last Stylebender' via knockout in the fifth round. The Brazilian became the new UFC middleweight champion after just four fights in the promotion and remains the only fighter to ever secure a knockout against Adesanya.

In a recent interview with Gustavo Faldon of ESPN Brasil, Alex Pereira stated that he had torn ligaments in his right middle finger two months ago. The new middleweight champion stated:

"I didn't train very well for this fight. I could have been better, But I won, I became champion. A lot of people talk nonsense and don't know what was going on. I [tore] the ligaments. I think I can come back better for this next fight."
UFC champ Alex Pereira says he fought Israel Adesanya with injured finger (h/t @gustavofaldon) espn.com/mma/story/_/id…

Pereira further revealed that he plans to return to the octagon next year between April and July, with no preference for who he will face for his first title defense.

"It doesn't matter to me whether he [Israel Adesanya] or another will come. If I were him, I would wait a bit, but since he wants to... he was the champion. If he really wants that, he deserves this rematch...It doesn't matter to me..."

Israel Adesanya claims he almost pulled out of Alex Pereira fight due to PCL injury

Israel Adesanya has also claimed that he was not at his best physical condition leading up to his title fight against Alex Pereira at UFC 281, suffering from a PCL injury he picked up against Jared Cannonier at UFC 276.

Adesanya lost his middleweight title to Alex Pereira via a shocking knockout loss in the fifth round of their bout. The Brazilian now boasts a record of 3-0 over the Nigerian-born Kiwi, with the previous two wins secured in the sport of kickboxing.

In an interview with the Flagrant podcast with Andrew Schulz and Akaash Singh, Adesanya opened up about the injury he carried during his training camp.

"Breaking news I was going to pull out of this fight early on...This time with the last fight with Cannonier, I hurt my PCL. And that's the thing that keeps your knee from going backwards. Early in camp, there were some problems...Maybe like three weeks I just did boxing..."

He continued:

"So, I was gonna pull out early but I was like, "Nah, I wanna get this done." Because I am a prideful man...I knew I wanted to fight. I knew I wanted to fight and also make a point of fighting three times this year."

Catch Israel Adesanya's interview on the Flagrant podcast below:

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Edited by Allan Mathew
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