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Daniel Cormier downplays Israel Adesanya’s 0-3 record against Alex Pereira: ‘Most thought he won the first fight’

“DC” believes “The Last Stylebender” absolutely does deserve an immediate rematch against Alex Pereira despite being winless (0-3) over their inter-sport rivalry.

Daniel Cormier thinks if anyone deserves an immediate rematch, it’s Israel Adesanya.

Adesanya dropped the Middleweight title to Alex Pereira at UFC 281 this past weekend (Sat., Nov. 12, 2022) in New York City, amassing a 3-1 lead on the judges scorecards before getting standing stopped in the fifth round by “Poatan” (watch highlights). That improves Pereira’s record in combat sports against Adesanya to 3-0, which is the main argument against an immediate fourth fight.

But, Cormier believes this number doesn’t capture the nuances of the Adesanya vs. Pereira rivalry.

“Well, if you are team Adesanya, you don’t want [the fight] to go any differently — outside of the ending — because he was fighting well,” Cormier said on the latest DC & RC show. “It’s not like he was getting beat. He has not been washed out in any of these fights. Most thought he won the first fight [in kickboxing], and believed that he got robbed.”

And as Adesanya noted throughout the lead-up to UFC 281, he was also winning that second kickboxing fight ... until “Poatan” knocked him out cold.

“Yes, immediate rematch!” Cormier argued. “If Israel Adesanya doesn’t get an immediate rematch, then who does? Adesanya’s defended the belt six times! He was on a twelve fight win streak to start his middleweight career in the UFC. He has earned, if anyone has earned, an immediate rematch. It’s this guy.

“No one questioned whether Usman was going to get a rematch,” he continued. “It was like, ‘Well, when is Usman going to get a rematch?’ It’s ultimately when he decides he wants to fight Leon Edwards again, or when Leon Edwards is ready. It should be the same case for Adesanya. Adesanya has done way too much in this game to have to rebuild and fight someone else.”

Cormier also admitted that he had doubts Pereira would be able to hold the title against other names in the Middleweight Top 5, a feeling shared by many in the mixed martial arts (MMA) community.

“I don’t know if you benefit from putting these two dudes against other people,” he concluded. “Because I truly do believe there are very difficult match ups for Alex Pereira that weren’t difficult for Israel Adesanya.”

The big question now is whether Adesanya wants to return soon enough to clinch an immediate rematch against Pereira. Following the loss, Adesanya said he had some health issues to sort out (details here) after a hard stretch that saw him fight three times in 10 months.

Will “Poatan” want to wait? Will the UFC force him to wait?

UPDATE: Article updated to remove the original, inaccurate headline. “Daniel Cormier suggests Israel Adesanya isn’t really 0-3 against Alex Pereira: ‘He got robbed!’” misrepresented Cormier’s statement.


For complete UFC 281: “Adesanya Vs. Pereira” results and play-by-play, click HERE.

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