Israel Adesanya Has ‘A Date’ for Title Defense Against UFC Destroyer

Israel Adesanya

Getty Israel Adesanya

Current UFC 185-pound king Israel Adesanya had shifted his focus onto Alex Pereira and recently said that he’s “got a date” for the title tilt.

Adesanya and the man who has beaten him twice in kickboxing, including by KO, fought during UFC 276. “The Last Stylebender” headlined the event against Jared Cannonier on July 2 and he notched his fifth title defense by beating his opponent via unanimous decision.

Pereira fought Sean Strickland a few contests earlier and he needed less than three minutes to take out the American by KO. It was the biggest win of “Poatan’s” MMA career, launching the previously unranked Brazilian to the No. 6 spot.

During a recent interview on Adesanya’s “FREESTYLEBENDER” YouTube channel, The Last Stylebender confirmed that he and his team have already looked into a date for his sixth title defense. And although Adesanya was clear that he was eyeing Pereira, he didn’t give away the date or location of the bout.

“Yes. When do I want it? We’ve got a date,” Adesanya said via MMA Mania. “We’ve already sussed it out, we’re already planning, we’re sussed with it.”

Adesanya and Pereira fought in the Glory of Heroes kickboxing promotion in 2016 and 2017, and Poatan picked up a decision win in their first outing and a knockout in their second. The Brazilian is a former two-division Glory kickboxing champion with a professional mixed martial arts record of 6-1.

Adesanya Gave His Take on Strickland’s UFC 276 Performance Against Pereira

Strickland also had the opportunity to earn a title fight against The Last Stylebender earlier this month. However, the loss to Pereira derailed his six-fight win streak.

During the same YouTube video, Adesanya said Strickland should have heeded his advice. The two got into a back and forth at the UFC 276 pre-fight press conference and The Last Stylebender told Strickland to focus on Pereira, not him.

“He should’ve listened to me,” Adesanya said via MMA Junkie. “He should’ve listened to me when I told him, ‘Just focus on the guy you have in front of you, not me.’ He was trying to be like that idiot in the back of the class. I hated having to address that idiot. Like, I’m trying to f*cking work and the guy I’m focused on is next to me or down the line and this idiot, this dumbass in the back of the class just disrupting.

“I was like, ‘Yo, it’s not me you need to worry about. Focus on this guy. He thought he had the opportunity, and I’m like, ‘OK, bet.’ If he actually did what he had to do, me and him would be fighting next.”

Strickland ‘Fought With His Ego,’ Adesanya Said

After suffering the KO loss, Strickland broke his silence via Instagram. And in the video, Strickland said he felt like it was an “easy fight” up until he got caught. Well, The Last Stylebender weighed in on Strickland’s thought process.

“Don’t fight with your ego, he fought with his ego,” Adesanya said. “He said, ‘I thought I was doing pretty well.’ You’re not doing pretty well. … I’ve seen this before, I’ve done this before. You can see it coming. … I was like, ‘change up,’ but Pereira didn’t need a change-up. He just threw a left hook, really, really simple.

“Boom dropped him, right hand, finished him.”

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