Friday, December 9, 2022

Alex Pereira ‘sad’ by Adesanya win, vows to ‘make him fight’

LAS VEGAS – Alex Pereira won’t allow his title clash with Israel Adesanya to be anything short of exciting.

Adesanya (23-1 MMA, 12-1 UFC) was showered with criticism from fight fans after a relatively uneventful unanimous decision title defense over Jared Cannonier in Saturday’s UFC 276 main event at T-Mobile Arena. Regardless, he retained the middleweight belt and set up a clash with Pereira (6-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC), who scored a spectacular first-round knockout of Sean Strickland two fights prior on the main card.

The pair have a well-known history, with Pereira having two victories over Adesanya during their kickboxing careers, with one coming by way of knockout.

Pereira was cageside for Adesanya’s win, and he said he was disappointed with what he witnessed.

“It did not excite me, and it did not excite the crowd,” Pereira told MMA Junkie and other reporters at the UFC 276 post-fight news conference. “I was very sad to see that. I hope when we fight he does a better fight than that. But for sure I am going to make him fight to give it a better show to the crowd.”

Pereira said he will be ready to challenge Adesanya as soon as possible, and promises that he will not be a ho-hum affair like what unfolded with Cannonier.

“Whenever he’s ready,” Pereira said. “I just finished my fight. I am fine. I can start training tomorrow. I’m going to take two weeks to enjoy my life a little bit. Whenever he’s ready. I’m good.”

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