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Boxing News of Sunday, 12 November 2023


I kicked Pereira out of middleweight - Adesanya boasts

Israel Adesanya Israel Adesanya

Former UFC champion Israel Adesanya has said that fellow fighters should be grateful to him for sending Alex Pereira out of the middleweight division when he knocked him out in April.

UFC 295 goes down on Sunday morning in New York City as the promotion returns to Madison Square Garden for a big night of action headlined by two title fights. In the main event, the vacant light heavyweight title will see former titleholder Jiri Prochazka take on the former middleweight king Pereira.

The attempt for “Poatan” will see him try and do what Adesanya couldn’t in March 2021 by claiming a second divisional title.

Adesanya’s last win saw him become a two-time UFC middleweight champion with his second-round knockout of Pereira in their fourth overall battle between MMA and kickboxing.

After the loss, Pereira made the move to light heavyweight, where he first beat the man who held off Adesanya for 205-pound gold, Jan Blachowicz. The win earned Pereira the title shot but ultimately saved the 185-pound division from the Brazilian knockout specialist, according to Adesanya.

“These middleweights can get on their f***ing knees and thank me ‘cause I got this man out of there. If not, you would have to deal with him over and over and over again, all of you,” Adesanya said on his YouTube channel.

“I doubt any of you would want to f***ing fight this guy. I did four times but I got it done just with one.”

Sean Strickland now holds the middleweight strap after dethroning Adesanya in September by unanimous decision.

“The Last Stylebender” is taking some time to hang out on the sidelines before he makes his next fight move and has backed Prochazka to beat Pereira.

“I like this fight because they’re both very unorthodox in their approach, their fighting style,” Adesanya said.

“The way Pereira leg kicks, the way Jiri likes to own the space and throw combos. Even like his potshots, the way he moves. His movement is crazy. Like it’s just very unorthodox.

“I’m going with Jiri. No (it doesn’t go the distance). Five rounds, I don’t think so. Not with this one. Not at light heavyweight. It doesn’t go the distance.”