Alex Pereira has claimed that he is not at the Ultimate Fighting Championship to challenge middleweight champion, Isreal Adesanya. The 34-year-old Brazilian has beaten the Nigerian twice in kickboxing fights.
Pereira’s first victory against Adesanya came via unanimous decision in 2016 in a Glory of Heroes 1 kickboxing fight in China – while the Brazilian knocked out Adesanya in their second meeting in 2017 in a Glory of Heroes 7, in Sao Paolo Brazil.
Pereira has penned a contract with the UFC and will make his debut at UFC 268 on November 6 at New York’s Madison Square Garden in the middleweight division.
Speaking after his joining the UFC, Pereira his journey in the UFC is to become the champion and not necessarily to rekindle his rivalry with Adesanya.
“I want to make it very clear that I didn’t come to the UFC because of Adesanya. I came to be the champion. If he’s the champion when I get there, fine. But it might not be. Who has to think about me is him, who lost twice, not me,” Pereira told sportskeeda.
“I already beat him (Adesanya) twice in kickboxing, one by unanimous decision, the other by knockout.
“When we fought, he started well, he was beating me, but even though I got beaten up a lot, I didn’t get tired. I knocked him out and let it out because he likes to tease, especially when weighing. He spoke badly about Brazil, about me… When he fell, I really let go,” Pereira added.