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UFC: Israel Adesanya Hails “Special Fighter” Alex Pereira




Nigerian-born kickboxer, Israel Adesanya, has described his career rival Alex Pereira as a special fighter who has taught him a lot about himself.

Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira have come a long way from kickboxing to mixed martial arts. In kickboxing, Pereira defeated Adesanyan, who had been enjoying an eleven-win streak in 2016.

The following year, the Brazilian defeated the Nigerian fighter again in kickboxing, making it two victorious over “The Last Stylebender” in kickboxing.

When they both moved into the UFC, the Brazilian fighter defeated Adesanya for the third straight time, and this time around, Pereira took the middleweight title away from the Nigerian fighter.

It was not until April 8, 2023, that Israel Adesanya finally defeated Pereira in the middleweight title rematch.

Unfortunately for the Nigerian fighter, he lost the middleweight title to Sean Strickland less than five months later.

In an interview with Demetrious Johnson on the MightyCast, Israel Adesanya acknowledged that he has learnt a lot from the Brazilian.

“Honestly, he’s a special fighter,” Adesanya said.

“He’s a special human being. What he’s done in this game, in fighting and for his life, as well, I’ll always respect him. I’m grateful for those moments because, for me, it taught me so much about myself and where I can go. Same with the Kelvin Gastelum fight, it let me know I can go more. That one, I was ready to die, but this one, I just knew, ‘There’s no f****** way, this guy, I swear to God, I will die… fourth time’s a charm.’

“Then I knew, ‘Israel, there are levels. You can go more. You can go more. So stay tuned.’ It’s not going to take another seven years before I get [Sean] Strickland. Stay tuned, you watch.”