Former UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya wants his revenge.
But defeating longtime nemesis Alex Pereira in the UFC 287 pay-per-view (PPV) main event, scheduled for Sat., April 8, 2023, in Miami, Florida, is simply not good enough for “The Last Stylebender,” who admits he’s now the “villain” in their respective stories.
Adesanya also wants to send the massive “Poatan” to light heavyweight.
“He’s got bragging rights,” Adesanya told The Mac Life. “I got the opportunity to claim it back, but I’m going to say less and do more. After this fight, I bet you he’s going to move to 205 (pounds). So this is my shot, and this is why I’m putting everything into this. This is a part of my story. In any story, there are valleys. Also for him, one man’s hero is another man’s villain. If you look at his life from his point of view, I’m the villain. I’m the guy – the underdog that he beat. I went to the UFC, he chased me, got me, beat me. So this is my story now. This is my time for his story.”
Pereira, 35, cuts a massive amount of weight to make the middleweight limit and would undoubtedly enjoy the change of scenery; however, the 6’4” Pereira — who sports a lengthy 79” reach — would prefer to make that jump under more favorable conditions.
Adesanya was bested by Pereira on the kickboxing circuit — twice — before falling to the Brazilian at UFC 281 last November. “The Last Stylebender” fans were quick to denounce the stoppage and claimed referee incompetence helped “Poatan” capture the crown.
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