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Alex Pereira downplays role in Strickland win over Adesanya: ‘I had nothing to do with it’

In a new YouTube video, Adesanya’s nemesis credited Strickland’s dedication and unique style for stymying “The Last Stylebender” at UFC 293.

Alex Pereira refuses to take credit for helping Sean Strickland defeat Israel Adesanya at UFC 293 this past weekend (Sat., Sept. 9, 2023) inside Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia (watch highlights).

Pereira and Strickland became unlikely friends after “Poatan” knocked Strickland stiff at UFC 276 back in July 2022. They spent time training together leading up to Strickland’s surprise victory over Adesanya “Down Under” this past weekend. But, those training sessions weren’t the key to Strickland’s success, according to Pereira.

They just opened the Brazilian’s eyes to how good “Tarzan” really is.

“A lot of you guys were saying that I was backing Sean Strickland just ‘cause we’re buddies now, ‘cause I trained with him,” Pereira said in a new YouTube video. “But, here’s what I told you guys: I spent a few days training with Sean Strickland and I got to see how talented he is, strategies, how tough he is. I got a better understanding from this training than from actually fighting him.

“During training we had a lot more room to play around and that’s what I was able to pick up from him and that’s why I was so sure he was going to win,” Pereira continued. “Another thing: So many people are saying, ‘Oh, Sean Strickland trained with Pereira and that’s why he won.’ But let me clarify: I had nothing to do with it, okay? He won on his own. It’s totally his success, because he’s such a dedicated guy with a unique style, and he really showed us what he’s got in his fight with Adesanya.

“So, the credit is all his, I had nothing to do with it despite the days we spent training,” Pereira concluded. “We didn’t train a lot, but we had some good talks that might have made a difference. Not only for this fight, but for his career in general ... and mine, too. Whatever he shared with me, I’ve kept it in mind and will surely put into practice.”

Pereira went on to address the idea that Strickland only won because Adesanya didn’t show up that night.

“Clearly, Sean came in and shut his game down,” he said. “He was really smart. He moved forward all the time with and amazing defense. And let’s not forget the precise strikes, he walked less, circled, and landed the best attacks. You all saw the result.”

Strickland will probably have a chance to prove the win wasn’t a fluke because UFC sounds eager to set up a rematch with Adesanya. And Adesanya’s coach, Eugene Bareman, also wants that fight next as well ... and he wants it as soon as possible.

As for Izzy? We still haven’t heard much from him following the loss, and until that happens, we’ll remain in the dark on what was going on with “The Last Stylebender” at UFC 293.

It’s all gravy, baby.

For complete UFC 293 results, coverage and highlights click HERE.

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