Pereira: ‘My victory over Israel Adesanya affected him when he fought Strickland’

Pereira: ‘My victory over Israel Adesanya affected him when he fought Strickland’

Undisputed light heavyweight champion, Alex Pereira has claimed former two-time middleweight kingpin, Israel Adesanya has “changed a little bit” since he knocked him out back in 2022 – explaining how this likely affected his performance against common-foe, Sean Strickland.

Pereira, a former undisputed middleweight champion and the current light heavyweight gold holder, has been sidelined since UFC 300 back in April, headlining the massive card in a title fight defense against Jamahal Hill.

And moving to 3-0 at the weight class since his climb last summer, Pereira dispatched the returning ex-champion with a blistering opening-round knockout win in Las Vegas.

As for Adesanya, the City Kickboxing talent has been sidelined himself since last September, dropping a unanimous decision defeat to the above-mentioned common opponent, Strickland at UFC 293 in Australia.

 And linked with a return at UFC 305 in Perth – as has Pereira to boot, Adesanya is likely in line to take on current middleweight best, Dricus du Plessis in his return to action this summer.

Sharing his thoughts on Adesanya since their pair of title fight showdowns inside the Octagon, Pereira claims the Nigerian-Kiwi striker has “changed” his approach to fighting, speculating that it may have come as a result of him knocking the former out.

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“Being honest with you, like I said before, why the (Sean) Strickland fight for him (Israel Adesanya) would be a hard fight, and looking at how everything played out, how everything worked after I fought Adesanya, he changed a little bit,” Alex Pereira told Fox Sports Australia.

“It’s kind of like, I’m not going to say he’s not the same anymore but he’s been performing a little different, so I don’t even know what to expect,” Alex Pereira explained.