Just a little over a week after his UFC 276 title defense against Jared Cannonier, Israel Adesanya is already setting up his next fight. His next challenger is likely Alex Pereira, the only man to knock out “The Last Stylebender.”
Pereira knocked out Sean Strickland with a clean left hook in the first round of their main card fight in the same event, subsequently entering the top ten. And without giving specifics, Izzy says a fight date has already been determined.
“We’ve got a date. We’ve already sussed it out. We’re already planning… we’re sussed with it,” Adesanya said in an interview on his Freestylebender YouTube channel.
Many believe that Pereira has the edge, being the only man to ever stop Adesanya. The champ, however, isn’t making a big deal out of it, given how easy it was for him to get over that loss when it happened more than five years ago.
“I literally just let that go. It didn’t take me long to be like, ‘Oh, that happened…’ Actually, after the fight, it wasn’t long (before I said), ‘I’m fine.’ People still love me, my family still loves me,” he said.
“The worst thing in the world that could happen to a fighter, it’s never happened to me, finally happened. I was like, ‘Oh, the worst thing in the world… sweet. Oh well. Keep ‘em moving.’ And then look where I ended up.”
The 35-year-old Pereira (6-1) has been undefeated in the UFC since entering the company in 2021. Two of his three fights in the Octagon earned him performance bonuses, including his KO win over Strickland.