It's reasonable to assume that Alex Pereira has Israel Adesanya's number, at least in kickboxing. The Brazilian crossed paths with the future UFC middleweight champion twice and emerged victorious both times.
Pereira's first encounter with Adesanya came in April 2016 at Glory of Heroes 1. 'Poatan' outworked Adesanya to earn a unanimous decision victory after three rounds.
A year later, the competitors met again - at Glory of Heroes 15. The rematch proved to be a more decisive win for Pereira, who handed Adesanya his first knockout loss. The Brazilian connected with a clubbing left hook, sending Adesanya's lifeless body crashing into the canvas.
Alex Pereira's UFC debut
Alex Pereira lived up to the hype by scoring a highlight reel-worthy KO in his long-awaited promotional debut at UFC 268. After being outgrappled by Andreas Michailidis in the first round, Pereira came roaring back in round two.
'Poatan' landed a flying knee strike, knocking the Greek fighter down. Pereira finished Michailidis with a few more ground strikes to secure his first win in the octagon. One of the most feared strikers in the UFC, Pereira is now 4-1 in his professional MMA career.
Pereira made it clear that his goal is to capture the UFC middleweight title, which is currently held by his rival Israel Adesanya. However, the 34-year-old made it clear that he made his way to the UFC to pursue the title and not necessarily come after 'The Last Stylebender.' During the UFC 268 media day, Pereira said:
"I didn’t come here after Adesanya, I came here to be a champion. Who knows, maybe by the time I get there he’s no longer the champion anymore. So I’m just taking it step by step. I just got to the organization and I’m just aiming to be a champion here. If I get there and it’s him, fine. If it’s not him, I’ll work with what I have."
However, Pereira is confident he'll still defeat Adesanya if they meet for the third time. He added that the current middleweight champ should be worried now that he has arrived.