After seizing the vacant light-heavyweight title with a KO win over Jiri Prochazka at UFC 295 on Saturday night, Alex Pereira rekindled his rivalry his long-standing with Israel Adesanya by calling him out for his next fight.
“I’m not the type of guy to call people out but there’s a guy that back in the day [who] did some interviews and said I was a guy who was just going to stay in the bar,” Pereira said post-fight.
“That motivated me. He rescued me from a bar to be here today. This guy said he just wants to come back and fight in 2027. I think he’s a very talented guy. It’s a waste of talent so I want to rescue him too, to come here and fight.
“I know that I’m not going to do what he did to me to and make me fight three times to fight him at middleweight. I know it’s a guy we have a lot of history. I want to make this fight happen. Adesanya, come to daddy.”
Now Adesanya has responded, and having been beaten by Pereira twice in kickboxing and once in the Octagon before finally KO’ing him last year, it seems he’s not in a hurry to fight him any time soon.
“The fact that it sits with him, it hurts his spirit, I like it,” Adesanya said on his YouTube channel. “But yeah he did it, in that same arena, getting that belt again. I think Jamahal Hill is probably next for him. But I know for a fact it hurts his spirit, which I like. What did he say, ‘Come to daddy’. It’s like, N—a last time I checked, you were f—-ing slept. But it’s all good. You know what, I wonder if I will ever see him on the golf course.”
Adesanya is coming off a shock decision loss to Sean Strickland last time out, and while many had expected him to seek an immediate rematch to try to reclaim the 185lb title he has instead indicated that he wants to take an extended break from the sport.