Adesanya lost to Pereira in a stunning fifth-round TKO at UFC 281. The loss was his first MMA defeat at middleweight and ended what was once thought of by some as an insurmountable title reign.
Despite the disappointing result, Adesanya has taken the loss in stride and is looking forward to an eventual return. He’s also teased the continuation of his Saw-themed prophecy for the possible immediate rematch with Pereira.
Many believed Adesanya was minutes away from earning another decision win on the judges’ scorecards, barring some egregious scoring. Most felt he was up three rounds to one entering the fifth round.
Adesanya also got to show off his vastly-improved grappling during the fight with Pereira. Ahead of their possible second UFC clash, he plans on carrying that over into the next matchup.
Israel Adesanya Teases Alex Pereira Rematch Plan
During a recent appearance on the FLAGRANT podcast, Adesanya kept his head held high when reflecting on his performance against Pereira.
“I know what to do now… I’m happy with the way it looked and the way it went, I just wish I got the win,” Adesanya said. “I’m telling you, I will f*ck this guy up… I will take less leg kicks and definitely wrestle more. I can wrestle, trust me… I just drained his enthusiasm. Dragged him down, whoop him, whoop him. He tries to get up, drag him down, whoop him. I controlled him for almost a whole round.”
Remarkably, Adesanya nearly withdrew from UFC 281 due to an injury that limited his kicks during camp. He’s suspended indefinitely with 60 days of mandatory rest, with a likely return in the second quarter of 2023 at the earliest.
Adesanya lost twice to Pereira during their stints in Glory Kickboxing, with their second fight ending in a vicious knockout. This time around, Adesanya is looking to put an exclamation point on his rivalry with Pereira and re-claim the middleweight belt.
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