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Midnight Mania! Israel Adesanya excited about Alex Pereira’s UFC debut, ‘I hope to see him’

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UFC 268: Usman v Covington 2 Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

UFC 268 provided a ton of highlights and incredible action (FULL RECAP HERE!) to that point that some great action was overshadowed. Perhaps one such example is Alex Pereira, the famed Brazilian kickboxer who scored a tremendous flying knee stoppage in his UFC debut opposite Andreas Michailidis in the preliminary headliner.

If that same outcome had happened on some random event in the UFC Apex, we’d all be talking about it a bit more.

Fortunately, UFC Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya did not miss his former foe’s performance. Pereira is a decorated former Glory champion, but in the MMA world, he’s best known as the only man to knock out “The Stylebender.” Adesanya considers himself an evolved fighter since that loss, but the champion would still like to meet Pereira inside the Octagon sooner than later if the Brazilian keeps winning.

“We need something new,” Adesanya said on his YouTube channel (via MMAJunkie). “Especially after you lap the division again. … Good job Pereira, that was nice.

“One thing I notice is everyone always holds on to that win he has over me like it’s the be all end all. I hope he does well. I hope he does well through the ranks. In the next four fights, I hope to see him. They’ll show you the knockout, but they won’t show you what happened before the finish. I hurt him, but I only throw (hands) because I was infiltrated by other people’s thoughts. But that was when I was younger. Not anymore. It’s different now. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Pereira is still just five fights into his professional MMA career. His kickboxing background and history with Adesanya will surely move him up the ranks faster than the average Middleweight prospect, but there are still some scary style match ups — hard-nosed wrestlers like Derek Brunson and Marvin Vettori, for example — ahead of him before such a fight materializes.

In short, it’s a bit soon to be fantasizing about “Stylebender” vs. “Poatan,” but it’s definitely a match up to keep an eye on!

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Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.