Israel Adesanya plans to make a “horror movie” out of upcoming title fight with Alex Pereira: “I want to be the first person he sees when he wakes up”

By Lewis Simpson - November 7, 2022

Israel Adesanya has one thing on his mind leading up to his highly anticipated bout with rival Alex Pereira at UFC 281. That one thing is revenge. 

Israel Adesanya

Adesanya will square off with the only man who has successfully separated him from consciousness in Pereira. The pairing will headline a stacked fight card this Saturday in Maddison Square Garden, New York.

The middleweight champion returns to the Octagon following a convincing victory over Jared Cannonier at UFC 276. Although the champ’s fifth title defence was dominant, he was dealt with some critics who believed he was playing it safe and not fighting to entertain.

On the same night, Pereira launched himself into the title conversation by starching Sean Strickland in the first round. The win over Strickland marked the Brazilian’s third fight and third victory under the organization. 

UFC President Dana White clearly feels it warrants a crack at the man he’s beaten twice before in kickboxing. 

In the pre-fight build-up, Pereira has taken the mental warfare approach to try and throw Adesanya off-track. However, the City Kickboxing representative compares his antics to Paulo Costa’s attempts, which didn’t end well.  

Adesanya’s walkouts in the past have been memorable, but in an interview with TMZ Sports, he revealed this isn’t the time for clowning around and not to expect anything special.

“Nah, not really. This is business. I feel like the way I handled the Costa fight as well, I just walked out there and just did my thing,” Adesanya said. “It was business as usual. But I’ll say I want to make this a horror movie. I want to keep that theme. I want to make this a horror movie.”

Israel Adesanya talks ufc 281 title fight with Alex Pereira

Adesanya also enlightened fans to his dream scenario with Pereira on Saturday night in MSG.

“I want to be the first person he sees when he wakes up,” Adesanya said. “I want to make sure I’m right in his line of sight so when he wakes up, he’s looking at me and then looking at the ref, and I want to be the first person he sees when he wakes up. That’s how I see this fight going.”

Quotes via MMA News

Pereira is under the impression he enters Saturday night’s contest with the mental edge, having defeated Adesanya twice between the ropes, but the champ doesn’t buy into it.

The first meeting between the pair in 2016 ended in a controversial decision which fell in Pereria’s favour. In the second outing, Adesanya was inches away from seeking redemption before being clipped and planted to the canvas. 

Adesanya is ready to face the criticism he’s received in his most recent bouts over Marvin Vettori, Robert Whittaker and Cannoneir but promises Saturday night with Pereria will be different. 

Can Israel Adesanya get revenge, or will Alex Pereira become the UFC middleweight champion with just four fights under the company?


Israel Adesanya UFC UFC 281