clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Israel Adesanya done with Alex Pereira ... unless ‘Poatan’ wins light heavyweight belt: ‘We’re moved on’

MMA: APR 08 UFC 287 Photo by Alejandro Salazar/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Israel Adesanya feels he’s moved past Alex Pereira.

UFC 287 this past April 2023 was one of the biggest moments of Adesanya’s storied career. The two-time UFC Middleweight kingpin reclaimed his title with a sensational second round two-punch knockout (watch highlights) of his Brazilian rival, Pereira, putting him on the board in their combat sports series (1-3).

Adesanya’s next bout is expected to take place at UFC 293 on Sept. 10, 2023, in Sydney, Australia. In the meantime, Pereira is moving up in weight to enter the Light Heavyweight waters when he faces former champion, Jan Blachowicz, at UFC 291 later this month (Sat., July 29, 2023). Considering the outcome of their last encounter, Adesanya sees no reason to run things back four a fifth overall time ... on one condition.

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!

“If he wins the belt at 205, I’ll do it again,” Adesanya said on The MMA Hour. “If not, I think he’s done with it, I’m done with it, everyone else wants to see it, but we’re moved on. It’s life.

“I think [Pereira] might knock him out,” he said of the Blachowicz fight. “We talked for about a good two minutes or so and I gave him some advice on how to handle Jan. We had the same idea, like, he’s going to knock him out, but I warned him, ‘Look, just be careful because he knows your striking is really good so he’s going to be patient with you like he was with me.’ What we expected him to do, he didn’t do, because he’s a great striker. He had the same idea, but I feel like if Jan doesn’t take him out, [Pereira] is going to knock him out.”

Adesanya is no stranger to testing his skills at Light Heavyweight and more specifically testing them against Blachowicz. “The Last Stylebender” tried his hand at becoming a double champ in March 2021, falling short by a unanimous decision. Pereira is the only man to defeat him since.

“If I’m going to bet money on it, no,” Adesanya said of Pereira winning the Light Heavyweight title. “205, I’ve been there, it’s hard. It’s not an easy task. If he wins the 205 belt though and they might give him a fast track like they did with me, then they’re going to have a magic, crazy, f—king epic fight at 205 with me and him. And that will be us for the fifth time. Isn’t that wild?”

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.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania