Israel Adesanya reveals the lessons he learned in UFC middleweight title loss to Alex Pereira

By Lewis Simpson - March 24, 2023

Israel Adesanya has revealed the lessons he’s learned since being dethroned as middleweight king of the UFC by Alex Pereira.

Israel Adesanya

Next month, at UFC 287 in Miami, Adesanya will face his long-time rival Pereira for a fourth time in a combat setting. Pereira holds two victories over Adesanya in kickboxing and one in MMA. Despite falling short on three occasions, Adesanya enters his UFC 287 headliner with no pressure on his shoulders and a ‘nothing to lose’ mindset.

The most recent outing between the pair occurred at UFC 281 in November. Adesanya was closing in on a decision victory before being stopped by Pereira in the fifth. With Pereira having bragging rights after holding victories in different sport’s over Adesanya, the Kiwi remains unfazed and explains why.

Israel Adesanya on UFC 287 rematch with Alex Pereira

“Benefits from this loss? I have nothing to lose” he said. “That’s the best thing I can say, I have nothing to lose. The worst has already happened. So it’s like, what’s he going to do it again? The worst has happened. I’ll tell you one thing, I know how to beat this guy. I know in my heart I know how to beat he knows I know how to beat him. Yeah, that’s the thing.”

The loss marked Adesayna’s first defeat at middleweight since joining the UFC in 2018. During that undefeated stretch in his division, the Nigerian-born Kiwi was dealt with some criticism from fans, trolls, and his pears. Now having had time to reflect on his journey and undergo sessions with a therapist, Adesanya realizes saying nothing is more powerful than reacting.

Adesanya unfazed by Pereira’s games

“I’m already motivated to whoop this guy’s ass but that was a bit, something else happened two weeks ago, some idiot said about you know, African fighters I don’t want to give him any attention, right? Yeah, but, I didn’t, I don’t react that’s one thing if I tell anybody don’t react, respond,” he said. “That is one of the things I learned through therapy that really benefited me because a lot of men in this day and age, they just react, something happens they tweet about it, or they go stab someone or they get into a fight and they hurt themselves. Just don’t react. Take your time, internalize that motion and response. So for me, I internalize that I was like, that’s weird. Like, why are you so obsessed with me?”

Quotes via Middle Easy

Adesanya addressed the fact that Pereira has been so focused on him and his life. Pereira had gone as far as making reaction videos on Adesayna, which only motivates him more, alongside re-capturing the middleweight title, which he believes is his.

Do you think Israel Adesanya can recapture UFC middleweight gold at UFC 287? Let us know in the comments!


Israel Adesanya UFC