Alex Pereira doesn’t think Israel Adesanya has any interest in facing him in the UFC.
Pereira and Adesanya fought twice in kickboxing with Pereira winning both, one by decision and one by KO, which serves as the only time he has been knocked out. Since then, the Brazilian has inked a UFC deal and beat Andreas Michailidis in his debut and won by flying knee KO. It was a solid win and now on Saturday at UFC Vegas 50, he will take on Bruno Silva. Should he win, he could get fast-tracked to the top but he doubts the champ will ever rematch him.
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,” Pereira said on MMA Fighting’s Portuguese-language podcast Trocação Franca. “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.
“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*ck, 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***. Like Glover [Teixeira] says, he’s scared s***.”
Whether or not Israel Adesanya is actually scared and wouldn’t face Alex Pereira again is uncertain. It would be a massive fight given their history and the promo can show Pereira knocking out Adesanya to help build up the bout. But, for Pereira, in order to even get the shot, he will need to continue to win fights as he think he’ll have to force the champ to take the fight.
“Adesanya thought he would never see me again and was comfortable,” Pereira said. “I was watching his fight [with Whittaker] and I was [predicting what he would do] based on his moves, ‘He’ll kick now, he’ll do this’. I see it, you know? I know how to beat him.”
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime