In a recently uncovered interview from 2020, Alex Pereira discussed the persona of his former foe Israel Adesanya.
Back in their kickboxing days, the paths of Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya crossed on two separate occasions. In 2016, the Brazilian was able to edge past Adesanya via unanimous decision.
Then, twelve months later, Pereira overcame some early adversity in the rematch to secure a vicious knockout win - in a viral moment that critics of 'The Last Stylebender' still hold over his head to this day.
Now that they're both in the UFC, many fans and pundits are hoping to see the two collide at some point.
In an interview with Marcelo Alonso of the PVT channel (Portal Vale Tudo) back in 2020, Pereira wasn't afraid to voice his thoughts regarding Adesanya.
According to Pereira:
'I don’t know if with his friends, right, with the people close to him, he’s that arrogant guy, that annoying guy, because every time I met the guy, it was all that arrogance, that ego, he was always like that. Since our first fight in China, he was a guy who pissed me off a lot, from the weigh-in to the fight. Even losing, when there was the rematch here in Brazil he made a post that I don’t really remember, but it was something like ‘I’ll have to beat Pereira in his backyard and then run out of the favela’. It was something like that, right?' [via translation]
The 34-year-old added:
'I only saw him at the weigh-in and the fight. After the fight I saw him crying outside in Ibirapuera. Sitting on a low wall with his trainer - that’s it.'
Watch Alex Pereira's full interview with Marcelo Alonso below:
When did Alex Pereira make his UFC debut ?
This past November at UFC 268, 'Poatan' went head-to-head with Andreas Michailidis at Madison Square Garden. While he had to go through some real adversity in the first round, he came out firing in the second with a nasty knee that led to a decisive knockout win.
Adesanya was watching on and while it may take some time, there's every chance we could see the two compete in the future.
However, for the fight to take place, Pereira must undertake the daunting task of reaching the upper echelon of the middleweight division.