Under the GLORY kickboxing brand, Alex Pereira has defeated Israel Adesanya twice, including by knockout in 2016. Their fight is set to be the main event of UFC 287.
By 2021, Adesanya had successfully defended the UFC middleweight championship three times, while “Poatan” had not yet made the transition from kickboxing. This gave Adesanya a significant career advantage in MMA. Pereira recently disclosed that the conversation Adesanya gave to Sporting News Australia in 2020 inspired him to change.
Every time “The Last Stylebender” defended his UFC championship, Pereira would bring up the GLORY knockout, according to Adesanya. The former middleweight champion also criticised “Poatan” for having only that GLORY KO victory as his sole claim to fame:
He keeps track of all of my battles, and he attempts to claim victory every time I do, like clockwork. At the end of the day, nobody knows who the f*ck he is, and he’s going to be that guy at some pub talking s—t about how ‘I beat that fellow once,’ when I’m world champion and a legend.
UFC 287 Countdown: Alex Pereira reveals how Israel Adesanya motivated him to join MMA
After joining the UFC in 2021, Alex Pereira went 3-0 in the promotion and quickly earned a championship shot against Israel Adesanya at UFC 281. The Last Stylebender was poised to win by unanimous decision when Pereira caught him with his trademark left hook and a deadly flurry of punches to earn a TKO victory.Poatan will attempt to retain his middleweight championship against Adesanya at UFC 287, which takes place this weekend at the Miami-Dade Arena.
Pereira claimed that the change to MMA was motivated by Adesanya’s aforementioned interview, which presented a new challenge to him prior to the fight. During the UFC 287 Countdown, the Brazilian remarked:
I began paying careful attention when Israel Adesanya joined the UFC because I was interested in competing in MMA. I was so inspired by a video of a conversation with Israel Adesanya. I felt strained. And no one can stop me from overcoming a task. The UFC provided the fresh obstacles I was looking for.