UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, says his goal is to dominate, totally destroy and retain his title when he faces his arch rival, Alex Pereira, at UFC 281 at the Madison Square Garden on November 13.
Although Pereira is new to the UFC, he has won all three fights he’s featured in, to earn a title shot against Adesanya. Both fighters have a history going back to Adesanya’s professional kickboxing days where he lost twice to Pereira with the Nigerian-born New Zealander needing an oxygen mask after he was brutally knocked out by the Brazilian.
Since joining the UFC, Adesanya has dominated the middleweight division recording 12 straight wins with his only loss in the UFC coming against Jan Blachowicz in the lightweight division. Adesanya who won his middleweight title against Robert Whittaker in 2019 has gone on to defend his title five times however, against Pereira, he says he just wants to control the fight and defeat his arch nemesis.
“I feel that if there’s ever a fight, I have to win, it’s this one. That’s why everything is different in this camp. There’s no excuses. If there’s ever a fight I have to win, it’s this one.”
Although fans and pundits have predicted that the fight would be the toughest Adesanya has ever faced at 185kg, the champion believes that Pereira will find it hard to keep up with his pace and should the fight go the distance, he’ll be the last man standing.
“In the first round, you’re gonna see him start to fold, he’s not gonna be able to keep that high pace. I know the kind of pace I can bring. He’s not going to last. If this fight has to go each round, until someone falls. Trust me, I know who’s going to stand. I know who’s going to be left standing.”