UFC Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is excited at the chance to go fist-to-fist in the Octagon with Alex Pereira at the end of the year, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
Adesanya welcomes the fight as it offers an opportunity to avenge the most brutal defeat in his career. It was in 2017 when he got brutally knocked out by Pereira. The UFC confirmed on Sunday that they had arranged a fight between the two old rivals.
The fight will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York, and will headline the event. The date is November 12, and Israel will try to avenge the two defeats Pereira inflicted on him so far, albeit in kickboxing.
“I’ve always picked the guy no one wants to fight,” Adesanya said during an interview on ESPN’s SportsCenter. “The guy everyone runs away from, I run towards. So, yeah, I run towards the fire, and this is no different.
“After he beat me in Brazil, I never had any plans of trying to get revenge or anything like that because I don’t hold on to things, I let go of things. But again, I’m telling you, the universe has presented this to me and it’s right there. The perfect alley-oop, and I’m going to slam this b*tch.
“I’m really excited to have someone finally who after the first round or the second round, they realize they can’t do sh*t and just want to be defensive,” Adesanya said.
“I’m excited to have someone who’s going to attack me. Who’s going to try to finish me. He’s done it before in the past in kickboxing.
“So for me, it’s like is he going to get knocked out, or am I going to get knocked out? So that’s why you have to tune in and find out.”
Adesanya (23-1 MMA, 12-1 UFC) has a decision and a knockout loss against Pereira (6-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) in kickboxing. It’s a big reason why many were excited to see Pereira enter the UFC.