Israel Adesanya hasn’t been in much of a hurry to fight Alex Pereira.
His wait-and-see attitude came as a surprise to some fans in the combat sports community, considering the Brazilian holds two victories over “The Last Stylebender,” including a lights-out knockout at the Glory of Heroes 7 kickboxing event back in March 2017.
Have a look:
The only man to stop Israel Adesanya is now in the UFC.— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) September 9, 2021
Alex Pereira knocked out the middleweight champ in the Stylebender's last kickboxing match.
Poatan makes his MMA debut at UFC 268 pic.twitter.com/4qLis4dndm
Surely a champion who talks as much smack as Adesanya would want to avenge that loss?
“This isn’t kickboxing, this is mixed martial arts,” Adesanya said during this week’s UFC 276 press conference. “These ain’t big pillow gloves, these are four ounce deadly weapons that I can’t wait to drive through his face after I go through Jared Cannonier.”
Adesanya is expected to face Pereira — or fellow contender Sean Strickland — depending on who emerges victorious at the UFC 276 pay-per-view (PPV) event on July 2, the same card to be headlined by Adesanya vs. Cannonier for the 185-pound title.
“I don’t like this narrative of, ‘It’s too quick, it’s too quick for Pereira,’ but look, Jiri [Prochazka] just fought for and won the belt in his third fight in the UFC,” Adesanya continued. “Anderson [Silva] did it in his second fight. So that’s fine, [Pereira] is new to MMA. I’ve been in this game a long time and this TikTok generation has a 15-second memory. All they see is a knockout, but they don’t watch the first fight, or the second fight before the finish.”
No doubt they’ll watch the third fight ... if it ever comes to fruition.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 276 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 balance on ABC/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 276: “Adesanya vs. Cannonier” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.