Alex Pereira on surpassing Israel Adesanya’s UFC legacy: “I was a double champion” 

Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya’s rivalry is one of the most exciting rivalries in MMA history. Alex Pereira holds the edge over Israel Adesanya when it comes to head-to-head records (3-1). ‘Poatan’ has two wins over ‘Izzy’ in GLORY and one in UFC.

However, the last time the two met each other, Adesanya served a brutal knockout to Pereira. But Izzy did not stop there, as he proceeded to taunt Pereira’s kid at UFC 287. Since then, Izzy has lost his middleweight title to Sean Strickland, whereas Alex Pereira jumped up to the light heavyweight division and became the new champion. 

Pereira is now a two-division champion, while Adesanya is preparing to make a comeback in a potential title match against Dricus Du Plessis. In a recent interview, Pereira shared candid thoughts on him surpassing Adesanya’s UFC legacy. 

“Honestly, I don’t know man. You have to see the criteria they use. Adesanya made several defenses, I couldn’t defend the middleweight belt,” said Pereira. 

He also added, “but there are things I did, I was a double champion. He tried [to be a double champion] but didn’t… I’m not worried about that because I think it doesn’t matter what classification they give you. What matters is what you do and inspire people. And I think I’m doing it very well.” 

Furthermore, ‘Poatan’ is eager to extend his UFC legacy by potentially becoming a three-division champion. With his sensational victory at UFC 300 over Jamahal Hill, Pereira expressed his desire to move up to the heavyweight division. Besides that, Adesanya believes that the rivalry with Pereira is now over. 

Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya’s head-to-head record

Poatan and Izzy’s rivalry started back in 2016 at GLORY of Heroes. This was the first meeting between them, which would be the start of their rivalry. Pereira defeated Adesanya via a controversial, unanimous decision. 

Alex Pereira vs Israel Adesanya (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

In 2017, Pereira met Adesanya at GLORY of Heroes 7. This time around, Poatan did not leave any chances of doubt by knocking out Adesanya in round three to secure a dominant win. 

In 2022, at UFC 281 in Israel, Adesanya lost his middleweight belt to Alex Pereira via TKO in round five. However, in 2023, Adesanya finally got his revenge and defeated Pereira at UFC 287 to become the middleweight champion with a brutal knockout victory. 

It would be interesting to see if ‘Poatan’ and ‘Izzy’ will cross each other’s paths once again in the future. 

Immanuel Chowdhury

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Immanuel Chowdhury is a professional and dedicated writer for SportsZion, mainly focusing on UFC and boxing. He specializes in capturing the essence of combat sports through insightful analysis and compelling storytelling.


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