Former UFC middleweight champion Alex Pereira won his match by split decision in his light heavyweight debut at UFC 291 on Saturday but one name that remains attached to the kickboxing star is Nigerian-born fighter Israel Adesanya.
During the post-fight interview, the Brazilian made it his condition to accept a third fight against “The Last Stylebender.”
Even in his new weight class, Pereira continues to get questions about his rival Adesanya. The two men tied the score in April when Adesanya knocked out Pereira in the second round to claim the title.
During the Octagon interview, he told Rogan about his plans to one day become the undisputed light heavyweight champion, while mentioning some unfinished business.
“Right now, I’m focused on this division. I want to be the champion of this division, then I have some work to do.
“I moved up to light heavyweight, did one more fight, took some time off from all those cuts and then (returned to middleweight). (Adesanya and I) are 1-1 in the middle. Nothing is fairer than doing the middleweight trilogy,” he said.
Immediately following their rematch at UFC 287, Adesanya put his rivalry with Pereira to bed. They had a brief back-and-forth on Twitter to speculate that things might not be over yet, but the 34-year-old also agreed to a third fight.
“If he wins the belt at 205, I’ll do it again. But if not, I think he’s done, I’m done. Everybody else wants to see it, but we’re done, that’s life,” Adesanya said.
Adesanya was originally set to defend his title against Dricus Du Plessis, who defeated former champion Robert Whittaker at UFC 290. But according to him, the South African pulled out due to injury and Sean Strickland will now step in for UFC. 293 in September.
As for Pereira, he improved his UFC record to 8-2 after his win over Jan Blachowicz.