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Israel Adesanya plans to make UFC 281 ‘a horror movie’ for Alex Pereira

Coming into his UFC 281 fight against Alex Pereira, Israel Adesanya knows exactly what he wants to do and how he sees the bout unfolding.

UFC 276: Adesanya v Cannonier Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Israel Adesanya is less than one week away from his UFC 281 pay-per-view (PPV) main event against Alex Pereira inside Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. Not only is it another important 185-pound title defense for “The Last Stylebender,” it’s an opportunity for him to avenge two losses to Pereira in kickboxing.

Coming into the fight, Adesanya sounded comfortable, confident and driven to beat “Poatan.” During an interview with TMZ Sports, he laid out what he wanted to do to his opponent once the bell rings.

“I will say I want to make this a horror movie,” Adesanya said. “I want to keep that theme. I want to be the first person he sees when he wakes up. I want to make sure I’m right in his line of sight so when he wakes up he’s looking at me. That’s how I see that fight going.”

LIVE! Watch UFC 282 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

YEAR-END PPV BLOWOUT! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) closes out its final pay-per-view (PPV) of the year on Sat., Dec. 10, 2022, with a battle for the vacant Light Heavyweight crown between former champion and No. 2-ranked contender, Jan Blachowicz, looking to stop the momentum of No. 3-seeded Magomed Ankalaev. In the co-main event of UFC 282, which will take place inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, breakout star, Paddy Pimblett, intends to keep his momentum going at the expense of gritty veteran, Jared Gordon.

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After a few less than mind-blowing fights against tentative opponents, Adesanya is excited to face someone he knows will come at him aggressively.

“This guy’s gonna try and win because he beat me already,” he said. “That’s the reality of the matter. I’ve already had this happen, in my reality. But, he already knows what I can do to him as well, without a referee to save his ass. So, what’s exciting about this fight is we get to find out if I’m going to get knocked out or is he gonna get knocked out.”

And while Pereira has beaten Adesanya twice in kickboxing (once by devastating knockout), Adesanya feels he’s got the mixed martial arts (MMA) tools to come out on top.

“I always felt my striking was better suited for MMA,” Adesanya said. “For the glove size, but also the way, the freeness of attacking, I can clinch someone and trip them down. I can elbow, things like that. And I know he’s good at stuff like that as well but I’ve been doing this a lot longer.

“I’m not the same guy, he’s not the same guy, either,” he continued. “But, again, I’ve been doing this a lot longer and people forget. This is the era we live in, the TikTok attention span era where you forget, by next day you’re onto the next thing.

“For me, I have reminded them,” he added. “I always do when it’s time. I remind people and show them how great I am. This is just another one of those times I have to do it ... and I have to do it.”

As for any message he wanted to send to Pereira, the champion resisted the urge to fire off another cartoon or anime-influenced reference.

“I don’t really have anything to say to him,” Izzy said. “So yeah, I’ll speak his language. He’s a violent man. But, so am I, and we’ll speak violence on November 12th.”

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 281 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard (on ESPNEWS/ESPN+) at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 281: “Adesanya vs. Pereira” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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