Alex Pereira's kickboxing credentials are impeccable. He is a former two-division Glory champion with an overall record of 33-7. Despite being a decorated kickboxer, Pereira is best known for his pair of wins over Israel Adesanya.
He first challenged his Kiwi rival in 2016 and ended his 12-fight win streak via a unanimous decision. Almost a year later, they competed in a rematch. Their second encounter, however, was far more intense, with Adesanya not shying away from trash talk.
On fight day, Pereira knocked Adesanya out cold, something which no one had done before. Speaking to Brazilian outlet Combate via the Mundo Da Luta podcast, the 34-year-old looked back on his rematch with Adesanya:
"I already beat him (Israel Adesanya) twice in kickboxing, one by unanimous decision, the other by knockout. When we fought, he started well, he was beating me, but even though I got beaten up a lot, I didn't get tired. But he, without having been beaten, got tired. On the way back to the third round, I went up and he was slower. I knocked him out and let it out because he likes to tease, especially when weighing. He spoke badly about Brazil, about me... When he fell, I really let go," said Alex Pereira.
Watch the knockout of Adesanya in the video below:
"I didn't come to the UFC because of Adesanya" - Alex Pereira
On Wednesday, Alex Pereira officially signed with the UFC. His rival, Israel Adesanya, is the promotion's middleweight champion. The prospect of another meeting between the pair on MMA's biggest stage has set tongues wagging.
But Pereira claims his move to the UFC has nothing to do with the current middleweight king. He believes it's Adesanya who should be concerned that the man who's defeated him twice is fighting in the same promotion as him.
"I want to make it very clear that I didn't come to the UFC because of Adesanya. I came to be the champion. If he's the champion when I get there, fine. But it might not be. Who has to think about me is him, who lost twice, not me," said Alex Pereira.
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