Without Me, Alex Pereira Wouldn’t Be Here – Isreal Adesanya

Isreal Adesanya doesn’t shy away from taking credits for the rapid rise of his upcoming opponent Alex Pereira in the MMA world. He actually credits himself for everything in the Brazilian’s MMA career.

Adesanya (23-1 MMA, 12-1 UFC) previously met Pereira (6-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) during their kick boxing days and lost their two meeting, first by Unanimous Decision in 2016 and then by knockout in 2017. This time they meet in MMA and in the Middleweight division where Adesanya is undefeated.

Isreal Adesanya At UFC 263
Jun 12, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Israel Adesanya reacts following his victory against Marvin Vettori during UFC 263 at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The “Style Bender” will be looking to  defend his Middleweight title for the sixth time against Pereira in the Main Event of UFC 281 on Saturday November 12 at the Madison Square Garden in New York.

“Without me, he wouldn’t be here,” Adesanya said on The MMA Hour. “Without me, he would’ve been exposed a long time ago. I cleared the way. I cleared the division, so there was not really anyone else to fight. I cleared the way for him to get to the top.”

Pereira has only fought thrice since switching to MMA and made his debut back in 2021, defeated Andreas Michailidis in his debut then went in to defeat Bruno Silva and Sean Strickland.

Despite that, Adesanya believes that there is a lot at stake in the fight and that it will be huge determinant of his legacy which makes the fight personal.

“It’s personal,” Adesanya said. “This is about me and my legacy. This is about re-writing history even though it is history and I never chased this. This is about me re-writing a new path in history and just showing people what I can really do, because, again, ya’ll must have forgot. … This is personal. I’ve said less. He can do all the tennis ball videos and hoverboard but for me, I’m just like, ‘Cool, you do you.’ He has bragging rights, so let him do that, but yeah.”

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