Once upon a time, in 2016, Adesanya faced Pereira in a kickboxing match for Glory. After three competitive rounds, Adesanya lost a controversial decision to the Brazilian fighter, and so, a year later, the two faced off at Glory of Heroes 7. This time there was no controversy when Pereira put Adesanya to sleep in the third round of their fight. This ended “The Last Stylebender” kickboxing career and sent him into full-time MMA.
Now, five years later and in a different sport, Adesanya finally has his chance for revenge.
Pereira signed with the UFC in 2021, and the promotion has made no secret of its intention to rush him into a title fight with Adesanya. And that’s exactly what happened. Pereira knocked out Andrea Michailidis on his debut, won a unanimous decision over Bruno Silva on his second outing, then achieved an incredible knockout of Sean Strickland to secure his shot at the middleweight title. And while the road was certainly shorter than most to get here, the fight is undeniably the most interesting challenge for Adesanya in a long time.
Check out the UFC 281 live blog below.