UFC Fighter Says He Made Israel Adesanya ‘Leave on the Stretcher’

Israel Adesanya

Getty Israel Adesanya

Current UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya was taken out on a “stretcher” when he kickboxed Alex Pereira for the second time, the Brazilian said during UFC 276 media day.

The two have met twice inside the ring, with Pereira besting Adesanya both times, winning via unanimous decision during their Glory of Heroes 1 match in 2016 and then by third-round KO a year later at Glory of Heroes 7.

Since then, “The Last Stylebender” (22-1 MMA) has gone on to rule the UFC’s middleweight division and he’s set to make his fifth title defense against Jared Cannonier on July 2 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Pereira signed with the UFC last year as a 3-1 professional mixed martial artist and he’s earned back-to-back finishes inside the Octagon. He’s scheduled to battle No. 4-ranked middleweight Sean Strickland at UFC 276 and should he win, Pereira will likely be knocking on the door of a title shot.

While speaking with the media on Wednesday, Pereira reacted to Adesanya’s recent comments about wanting to “drive” his fists through Pereira’s “face” while wearing four-ounce MMA gloves.

“Well [Adesanya’s comments] actually makes me confused,” Pereira said via MMA Fighting. “Because with those two fights and the knockout, he actually claimed [the gloves] to be a pillow, but now we talk about four-ounce gloves.

“It is a deadly weapon, but if the big pillows already make him leave on the stretcher with an [oxygen] balloon on him, imagine what’s going to happen with four-ounce [gloves].”

Pereira’s comment about Adesanya leaving on a stretcher was an exaggeration as The Last Stylebender was up and walking around after the brutal KO. Watch Pereira’s win against Adesanya below via the embedded YouTube video:


Pereira Doesn’t Think Adesanya Wants to Fight Him Again

Adesanya recently said he’s down to defend his belt against Pereira next should he get past Cannonier and the Brazilian beat Strickland. But, Pereira isn’t buying that The Last Stylebender is chomping at the bit to compete against him again.

“I don’t think he wants the fight due to the history that we have,” Pereira said. “If he really wanted the fight, when I first signed with the UFC he wouldn’t let me do three fights like I’m doing now. He would just go to the organization and if he agrees, I want the rubber match right now and I want to get back those losses.

“But after my win in [Madison Square] Garden, he said I still have four more wins before I reach to him. This is the third. But now goes and says that he wants to fight me next and everything that he’s saying because he sees that it’s on the contract so he has nowhere else to run.”

Pereira Is ‘Rooting’ for Adesanya to Beat Cannonier

Although he doubts The Last Stylebender’s focus going in Saturday night’s fight, Pereira is still “rooting” for his old foe to beat Cannonier.

“I believe Adesanya’s going to win this fight,” Pereira said. “Even though he don’t seem too focused, because he’s been talking about me so much for this past week and he should be more focused on the fight that he has, because he has a dangerous fight. But I still believe that he’s going to win and I’m rooting for him.”

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