Pereira wants to "rescue" Adesanya as payback for a past favour
UFC Champion Alex Pereira became the ninth fighter in UFC history to become a two-division champion, as well as the fastest to do so, and he did it in his seventh fight, beating Randy Couture's record .
'Poatan' has just been inducted into the Glory (Kickboxing) Hall of Fame and is on track to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame once he retires, as this week he climbed to fifth in the pound-for-pound rankings.
Someone with his pedigree climbed quickly in the UFC, taking down Israel Adesanya and going unbeaten at middleweight.
In Glory, the Brazilian had defeated 'The Last Stylebender' twice - the last one by KO -, so they had a score to settle.
Pereira knocked out and snatched the UFC middleweight title from the Nigerian; in the rematch, it was the other way around.
Poatan's career continued against Bachowicz in a higher division and after defeating Procházka at UFC 295, Pereira remembered his great rival.
The latter had been arrested in Auckland, New Zealand, on August 19 for a DUI and was not in the best of moods on September 10 against Sean Strickland and he then decided to take a long career break.
What Alex wanted to do during his post-fight intervention was to return the 'favor' to Adesanya, who had publicly encouraged him in 2020 - in his own way - to stay away from drinking.
"He's going to be that kind of guy that when I'm world champion when I'm a legend, he's going to be in a pub talking **** like, 'I beat him once," Adesanya said.
"He said I was going to be that guy that's in the pubs talking. That motivated me and rescued me from the bars to be here today, so I want to rescue him to come here and fight," he explained.
The Brazilian's message was very clear and his only goal was for 'The Last Stylebender' not to waste his talent.
There are already a number of light heavyweight contenders like former champions Jamahal Hill and Jan Błachowicz who are eager for a chance at Pereira’s new belt, but Cejudo wouldn’t be surprised if the UFC decided to let Adesanya walk right into a light heavyweight title shot.
“I like it. I mean, is Israel Adesanya the number one contender at light heavyweight? No. Will the UFC give him that fight?... They’re gonna give Israel Adesanya that fight if Israel really wants it. Unless Israel is really serious about retirement, or if he just wants to do this whole YouTube content type stuff."
A trilogy bout in the UFC between Pereira and Adesanya would undoubtedly be a massive fight for the promotion, but unfortunately the fighting future of “The Last Stylebender” is somewhat uncertain following his upset loss to Sean Strickland at UFC 293.
Adesanya suffered the first setback of his MMA career when he moved up to light heavyweight at UFC 259 and attempted to become a two-division UFC champion. The 34-year-old dropped a decision to Błachowicz at that event, but another chance at the light heavyweight title as well as the opportunity to face Pereira again may be enough to motivate Adesanya to return to the cage.