One of the biggest rivalries in the combat sports world seemingly came to a close earlier this year, when Israel Adesanya finally beat Alex Pereira in the UFC Octagon. Adesanya’s victory over his Brazilian foe at UFC 287 on April 8th marked the first time in four attempts that the ‘Last Stylebender’ found a way to best ‘Po Atan’.
Despite winning large portions of their previous three contests, Pereira had twice defeated Adesanya via KO—taking the Nigerian-born New Zealander’s UFC title in the process back at UFC 281 in 2022. That kind of lopsided record would seem to provide fertile grounds for both men to continue their rivalry. But with his belt firmly back within his grasp Adesanya was quick to declare their sporting feud at an end.
“I don’t keep score, I settle them,” Adesanya told reporters after UFC 287. “Now it’s settled.”
That, along with Pereira’s move to the light heavyweight division, seemed like they were the final word on the matter. But it may just be that’s not the case.
“If he wins the belt at 205 I’ll do it again,” Adesanya explained (transcript via MMA Junkie). “But if not – I think he’s done with it. I’m done with it. I think everyone else wants to see it, but we’ve moved on
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