Former two-time Glory kickboxing champion Alex Pereira is one of the most decorated strikers on the UFC roster at the moment. In fact, during his time on the ring, ‘Poatan’ even scored two wins over current middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, including a knockout.
With a track record like that, it is no surprise that fans wish to see Pereira take on the ‘Last Stylebender’ in the Octagon. However, with just one win into his UFC career, Alex will have to climb the ladder before he gets there.
In order to keep the momentum going, Poatan is now scheduled to take on Bruno Silva at UFC Vegas 50, in a fight that will most likely stay on the feet.
In an conversation with MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz on his podcast, Trocacao Franca, Poatan shared some thoughts about a potential third encounter with Adesanya, In his opinion, there is only a slim chance of that fight taking place in the UFC, because Pereira believes the champion has no intention to face Alex a third time.
“Man, have you seen me laughing before? It’s hard, right?” Pereira said through chortles. “How does this guy say he’s anxious to fight me? If I were in his shoes and I was crazy to fight someone, anxious, like he’s saying he is … as soon as I heard ‘Alex Pereira has signed with the UFC,’ [I would’ve said] f—k, [book it] right away. The respect he has [within the company], I’d say, ‘Ask him if he wants to fight me now. Forget about Robert Whittaker cancel this fight, reschedule it. I make the calls. If Alex wants it, I want it.”
“F—k, man, that’s what you do is you’re anxious to fight [someone]. ‘Oh, I can’t wait to fight Alex, but I’ll fight him [after] 15 fights.’ F—k, How is he anxious to do it? What does he want? Look, I’ll tell you this — it’s harder for me to get to him than beating him. He knows that. He knows how I beat him. He fought me twice. He won’t admit how difficult I am. He’s not anxious to fight me. He wants me to slip tomorrow so he can say, ‘Is this the guy you want me to fight? Are you crazy? Go back to the end of the line.’ He’ll run from me.”
Because of the way Adesanya has been behaving lately, Poatan only has one explanation for the champion not to be talking about their third fight. In Pereira’s opinion, it is clear that Israel is scared of facing Alex again and losing a third time.
“Someone crazy for a fight will say, ‘I want this guy, I want to prove I’m better than him,’” Pereira continued. “He’s fooling his fan base. People should pressure him. The least he could do is say, ‘F—k, I’ll show my fans that I’m the best and that’s why they follow me,’ but that’s not what he’s doing. He’s scared s—t. Like Glover (Teixeira) says, he’s scared s—t.”
In his Octagon debut, Poatan (4-1) scored a highlight reel knockout victory over Andreas Michailidis, back in November 2021. The win put the 34-year-old on a four-fight winning streak in MMA, with his only happening in his debut, when he got submitted by Quemuel Ottoni, in October 2015.
Now, Pereira is expected to take on Silva at UFC Vegas 50, at the UFC Apex, in Las Vegas. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a light heavyweight bout between contenders Magomed Ankalaev and Thiago Santos.