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Midnight Mania! Israel Adesanya reveals the only reason he would fight Alex Pereira for a fifth time

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Israel Adesanya is ready to move on from the Alex Pereira rivalry.

The four have squared off four times in kickboxing and MMA, and each fight has seen both men have strong moments. Adesanya nearly won the first kickboxing bout before the judges went against him, and both the second kickboxing match and first MMA saw “Stylebender” well ahead on the scorecards prior to a late-round rally from “Poatan.” Finally, in their fourth battle, Adesanya earned his revenge with a crushing knockout win.

Immediately after that win, Adesanya shut down talks of an immediate MMA trilogy fight. Pereira didn’t argue, instead jumping up to Light Heavyweight for a showdown opposite Jan Blachowicz at UFC 291 that carries significant title implications. Adesanya, meanwhile, is busy praying that Dricus du Plessis somehow takes out Robert Whittaker so that they can settle their beef inside the Octagon.

The two are moving in different directions, and even if Adesanya is technically behind on the scoreboards, he’s at peace with that. However, “Stylebender” revealed on The MMA Hour that there’s one circumstance in which he’d still want to fight “Poatan” one last time.

“If he wins the belt at 205 I’ll do it again,” Adesanya told Ariel Helwani (via MMA Junkie). “But if not – I think he’s done with it. I’m done with it. I think everyone else wants to see it, but we’ve moved on.

“If I were to bet money on it, no (I don’t think it happens). 205, I’ve been there, it’s hard. If he wins the 205 belt, though, they might give him a fast track like they did with me, and then they’re going to have a magic, crazy, f—king epic fight at 205 with me and him. That will be us for the fifth time.”

Pereira is still at least two wins from Light Heavyweight gold, but Adesanya’s correct: those circumstances really would make for a magical final showdown.


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

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