Israel Adesanya describes how Alex Pereira harmed his mobility while watching the opening bout.

At UFC 281, former kickboxing rival Alex Pereira submitted Israel Adesanya to end his three-year middleweight championship reign.

Adesanya addressed the issues with the first fight while reviewing the video as he prepared for the eagerly awaited rematch against “Poatan” at UFC 287.

“The Last Stylebender” commented on the battle on his YouTube channel, saying that the fight’s leg kick severely limited his mobility.

The Nigerian-born Kiwi appeared certain that the Brazilian’s kick caused him to become less slick than normal because it hit a nerve in him. He went on to describe the tragic incident:

“[The leg kicks] were just like snappy ones, but I think the second one that landed properly, I stepped into it [and] I felt like the nerves got struck. Like a guitar chord almost, I just felt the vibration like an electric shock. I was still able to control the round and do what I do.”


“In Round 2, I’m controlling, that’s when my leg started to drag a little bit, my left leg. [I was like] what the f**k. Like [when] I was trying to plant it, and it felt weird. So I was against the fence a little bit more, he hit me a little bit more… His leg was compromised as well, but mine, he actually affected the movement by striking the nerve.”

In the final round of UFC 281, Adesanya had a 3-1 advantage among most fans and analysts. But during the round, Pereira repeatedly struck “The Last Stylebender,” knocking him out and eventually prompting the referee to call time on the fight.

Israel Adesanya, speaking about his preparation for UFC 287, claims that he has already suffered three defeats to Alex Pereira. But at UFC 287, Adesanya is eager to face “Poatan” and raise his palm for the first time.The second fight between “The Last Stylebender” and the hard-hitting Brazilian will be approached as if it were his penultimate opportunity to do so. In a recent YouTube video on his channel, he discussed the upcoming battle and said:

“It’s kind of poetic in a way, like I said, one life roll the dice. So it’s my last shot, I’m going to give it all I’ve got. In every sense of the word.”

How Israel Adesanya inspired Alex Pereira to take up MMA

A title shot against Israel Adesanya at UFC 281 last November was made possible for Alex Pereira, who entered the UFC in 2021 and went 3-0 in the promotion. Before Pereira caught him with his trademark left hook and then pounded him mercilessly for a TKO victory, “The Last Stylebender,” who was headed for an easy decision victory, was in good shape.

At UFC 287, which takes place this weekend at the Miami-Dade Arena, “Poatan” will try to defend his middleweight championship against Adesanya.

Pereira claimed that Adesanya’s aforementioned interview presented a new task to him, motivating the switch to MMA, prior to the fight. During the UFC 287 Countdown, the Brazilian said: 

“When Israel Adesanya joined the UFC, I started taking a close look because I had [an] interest in fighting in MMA. There is a video of an interview with Israel Adesanya that motivated me so much. I felt challenged. And whenever there’s a challenge, no one can hold me back. I wanted new challenges, and the UFC was it.”