During the UFC 287 main event, Israel Adesanya avenged his loss at UFC 281 by defeating Alex Pereira via. KO in the second round to reclaim the middleweight title. Before UFC 287, Adesanya was 0-2 against Pereira in Kickboxing (one by decision and the other by KO) and was 0-1 in MMA against “Poatan.”
Immediately following the KO victory, Adesanya had multiple taunts during his celebration. The first was shooting arrows at an unconscious Pereira, drawing some inspiration from “Poatan’s” pre-fight taunt. The subject at hand was the celebration that followed which was Adesanya pointing at Pereira’s 12-year-old son in attendance for the main event, then falling in a way that mimicked a sudden knockout.
Alex Pereira Shares His Thoughts
Adesanya admittedly petty was imitating the same celebration Pereira’s son did after his father knocked out Adesanya in their second kickboxing bout when he was five years old. Alex Pereira then posted an interview on his YouTube channel and reacted to the loss and Adesanya’s taunts.
“I don’t know, I wouldn’t do the same. I can play with him like I’ve always played. I’ve teased him, but I don’t know, he’s another child. I don’t know what his feelings were. He was enduring this for seven years and I saw his joy after the knockout. That was his dream and he made it, but we’re comparing him with a child who was 5 years old at the time, right?” Pereira went on to explain, “I don’t have that mind. I can prove it because today he’s 12 years old and before the fight, I saw that he was being influenced by other people, sometimes he even participated in some interviews and some reporters asked (my son) ‘Are you going to do this again?’ and he laughed. He’s a kid and he thinks it’s funny.”
Pereira then defended his stance, “I think it’s funny. I did that, I knocked him out the night I won the belt (UFC 281), and my kid wanted to do the same thing up there. I told him ‘No, stop, don’t do it. Stay here, don’t do anything.’ I’m a conscious guy about everything I’m saying here, and I wouldn’t do it. If he (Adesanya) did it and felt better that way, okay, it’s a relief he had and if he thinks it’s better for him, okay, that won’t change anything for me.”
“Poatan” also spoke about the backstage conversation between himself and Adesanya, referencing Adesanya’s desire to train with Pereira in Brazil one day, “If we’ll train together or not it’s up to him. I’m always willing to be good with everyone.” Pereira later said “He hadn’t won any fights (against me) and he had this feeling. Maybe today after having one victory over me, maybe he will change his mind. If it changes, it will be cool.” Despite the loss Pereira doesn’t seem to be in a negative place, saying “Guys, I promise you, I’m going to come firm and strong. I’m going to come stronger than ever. You can write this down.”
What do you make of Pereira’s comments? Do you think Adesanya’s taunts and celebrations were fair or foul? Let us know in the comments below!