Alex Pereira may simply be the guy that has Israel Adesanya’s number.
After defeating ‘The Last Stylebender’ on two separate occasions under the GLORY Kickboxing banner, Alex Pereira opted to follow Adesanya to Las Vegas, signing with the UFC and going on a 3-0 run before finding himself matched up once again with Adesanya. After their middleweight title main event was in the books, UFC fans were introduced to a new world champion and Israel Adesanya was left with that old familiar feeling. Pereira scored his fourth win inside the Octagon with a shocking fifth-round knockout to capture the 185-pound title at UFC 282 last month, leaving Adesanya and his fans devastated.
Talk of an immediate rematch is still ever-present, but some, including former light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz, are convinced that ‘Stylebender’ will never score a victory over Alex Pereira. In an interview with Helen Yee, Blachowicz said:
“I think that Alex Pereira is that guy that Izzy is never gonna beat. He lost against him three times, but he was close in this fight in MMA. So if he changes a little bit of the game plan…it’s hard to say.”
Jan Blachowicz and Israel Adesanya Are No Strangers to One Another
To be fair, Adesanya was cruising to a guaranteed unanimous decision victory, but with three minutes to go, Pereira kicked it into overdrive, knowing exactly what needed to happen. After a barrage of unanswered strikes that had the former champion reeling, referee Marc Goddard stepped in, calling for the stoppage and crowning a new middleweight king in the process.
Of course, Israel Adesanya and Jan Blachowicz are no strangers to one another. The two squared off for the light heavyweight title at UFC 259 in March 2021. Blachowicz handed ‘Izzy’ his first defeat inside the Octagon, retaining his title in the process. ‘Polish Power’ would go on to lose that title seven months later to Glover Teixeira.
In a twist of fate, Jan Blachowicz will have the chance to become a two-time light heavyweight champion at UFC 282 on December 10th. With the title vacated by former champion Jiri Prochazka, Blachowicz will square off with No. 3 ranked contender Magomed Ankalaev to crown a new king of the 205-pound division.