Despite being 34-years-old Alex Pereira is one of the hottest prospects in the UFC. The hype around ‘Poatan’ is thanks to his stellar kickboxing career that saw him go 40-7 and hoist multiple titles in the Glory promotion.
Another major reason for excitement around the UFC newcomer is who he beat in kickboxing (twice). Pereira holds the distinction of being the only man to knock out UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. He did this at Glory of Heroes 7 in 2017. That KO win followed up a unanimous decision win Pereira took over Adesanya at Glory of Heroes the previous year.
It’s been so far so good for Pereira since he pivoted back to MMA in 2020. Since then he has scored two crushing stoppages; a thunderous KO at LFA in 2020 and then a flying knee over Andreas Michailidis in his UFC debut last year.
With Pereira performing as expected so far, plenty are eager to see him fight his way to a third fight with Adesanya. And, as if that prospect wasn’t exciting enough, there also seems to be some lingering animosity between the pair.
Pereira recently spoke to PVT about Adesanya. And he wasn’t shy about letting his feelings be known.
“I don’t know if with his friends, right, with the people close to him, he’s that arrogant guy, that annoying guy, because every time I met the guy, it was all that arrogance, that ego, he was always like that,” said Pereira (ht sportskeeda). “Since our first fight in China, he was a guy who pissed me off a lot, from the weigh-in to the fight. Even losing, when there was the rematch here in Brazil he made a post that I don’t really remember, but it was something like ‘I’ll have to beat Pereira in his backyard and then run out of the favela’. It was something like that, right?”
Pereira added that, after he knocked out Adesanya in their rematch in Brazil, he encountered ‘The Last Stylebender’ outside the arena.
“I only saw him at the weigh-in and the fight. After the fight I saw him crying outside in Ibirapuera. Sitting on a low wall with his trainer - that’s it.”
If Pereira has hopes of recreating that scene, he will need to deliver on March 12. That’s when he is booked to step into the Octagon for the second time. At UFC Fight Night: Santos vs. Ankalaev he’s scheduled to face fellow Brazilian Bruno Silva.