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Israel Adesanya gave Alex Pereira advice on how to beat Jan Blachowicz at UFC 291

There may still be some unfinished business between Adesanya and Pereira in the cage, but that didn’t stop Izzy from offering up advice to ‘Poatan’ on how to win his next fight.

UFC 281 Press Conference Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Is there a more interesting rivalry in MMA right now than Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira? The two have fought four times now across two combat sports, with Pereira carrying a 3-1 record over Adesanya. Unfortunately, that one loss was in their most recent fight for the middleweight title. So Adesanya walked away with the belt, and Pereira is moving up to light heavyweight.

“Poatan” begins his run a weightclass up against former 205 pound champion Jan Blachowicz at UFC 291 in July. That’s a pretty steep test, and one person that’s worried about Pereira’s chances? Israel Adesanya. Alex and Izzy ran into each other at LAX airport last week, and now we’re learning that “The Last Stylebender” offered Pereira advice on how to get past Blachowicz.

“I saw him and I was like, ‘Hey!’ and then his coach and girl saw me and started laughing,” Adesanya said during an interview on Logan Paul’s Impaulsive show. “He turns around, stone cold, no smile, no laugh. I’m like, ‘What’s up man’ and shook his hand. That’s who he is. He’s very stony.”

“I was like ‘Jan next, yeah?’ He’s fighting the guy that’s the first MMA loss for me when I went up to 205. We talked about — we kind of had the same idea. We pretty much, through our limited conversation skills because of his English and my Portuguese, we kind of had the same idea about what was going to happen.

“But I had to let him know, I thought the same thing when I fought Jan: I thought Jan was going to attack me a little more,” Izzy continued. “But he was patient. So I kind of let him know, ‘You be patient too.’ I feel like he can knock him out, he can knock out Jan badly. Because I hurt Jan. I hurt Jan really bad and that’s when Jan decided ‘Oh, imma take him down.’”

Is it wild that Adesanya and Pereira are comparing notes on a common opponent after everything that’s gone on between them? After Adesanya mocked Pereira’s son in such a public way after winning their last fight? “Poatan” was pretty matter-of-fact about the run-in, and said there was never the possibility of a rumble.

“If I were to fight him again [in the UFC], we would have a rivalry,” Pereira said shortly after their airport run-in. “But now, why? We’ll meet. Adesanya, he’s there with a teammate, I’m in the same spot. And we can’t [see each other] because we’ll destroy the whole place and beat each other up? That doesn’t exist. That type of rivalry doesn’t exist with me.”

LIVE! Watch UFC 293 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

MASSIVE MIDDLEWEIGHT MATCH! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) makes its highly anticipated return to Sydney, Australia, for the first time in five years on Sat., Sept. 9, 2023, with a 185-pound world title fight inside Qudos Bank Arena. In the ESPN+-streamed pay-per-view (PPV) main event, Middleweight roost-ruler, Israel Adesanya, plans to silence No. 5-seeded contender, Sean Strickland. In UFC 293’s hard-hitting Heavyweight co-main event, No-6-ranked fan favorite, Tai Tuivasa, locks horns with towering Russian, Alexander Volkov (No. 8).

Don’t miss a single second of EPIC face-punching action!

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 291 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN/ESPN+/ABC 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 291: “Poirier vs. Gaethje 2”” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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