This past Saturday, Pereira took on longtime rival and former middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in the main event of UFC 281 at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York. Adesanya put in a competitive effort to hurt Pereira early in the bout. ‘Poatan’ recovered quickly and unleashed a vicious flurry of punches to score a standing TKO finish over ‘Stylebender.’
Pereira became the new 185-pound king and went three-up over Adesanya, with two prior victories coming in the kickboxing ring, including a brutal left hook knockout.
In an episode of the popular podcast show “Joe Rogan Experience,” Rogan called on Pereira to improve a key area.
“That dude is f**king special,” said Rogan. “He’s so scary. If he learns how to wrestle, how to take people down too, and gets really good at that and gets good at stuffing the takedowns and makes people stand with him, god damn man.”
Rogan believes ‘Poatan’ could follow a similar route as Adesanya in his MMA career.
“He’s a monster. He really is a monster. He’s so big for the weight class, which really wears you out, that weight cut. That’s a big weight cut. With wrestling, he’s going to have issues because he’s not a grappler, that’s not his forte.
“The thing is Pereira, his wrestling is going to be an issue. He’s gotta really figure out a way, but that was an issue with Izzy too. Early in Izzy’s career, he had to figure out how to tighten that up and he did.”
Rogan Praised Adesanya for Handling the Loss Well
Following his first loss at 185 pounds, Adesanya was graceful in defeat and fulfilled all his media obligations without any hesitation. Rogan heaped praises o the Nigerian-Kiwi for the way he handled the loss.
“The way he responded to that loss is better than anybody ever,” Rogan said. “The dude shows up to the press conference with a f****** fur coat like a king. Dope-ass watch on and just says, ‘He got me.’
“He basically said ‘the hunter is now the hunted, I’m coming after him, I’m going to find a way to beat that dude. I was on my way to beating him, and he got me.’”
Rogan Weighed In on the Controversial Stoppage
Rogan gave his take on the controversial stoppage in Adesanya’s defeat to Pereira.
“I don’t think Pereira was going to stop. He had more time. Izzy was stationary and Pereira was going to hit him with some big shots. We don’t need to see Izzy with his eyes rolled back behind his head flat-out unconscious. It was a good stoppage.
“I could see where he would be upset about it too and where other fights have gone on longer. And they have but it’s a subjective call. Marc Goddard is one of the very best in the world.”
Rogan argued Pereira’s arrival to the UFC was the worst-case scenario for Adesanya.
“Thing is when you are a specialist like if your specialty is wrestling and then all of a sudden you’re facing an Olympic gold medalist, you’re like f**k. There’s people that are better than you at your specialty. At least on paper, Alex Pereira is one of the best kickboxers of all time.
“I still think Izzy is technically a better striker. But Pereira is very technically good too.”