The rivalry between Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira is something that can give any Hollywood script a run for its money. The pair have fought three times before, across MMA and Kickboxing, and Poatan has come out on top each time. Despite the result, one aspect that was constant was the fact that Andesanya dominated most parts of the fights.
In both of their kickboxing bouts, Adesanya had great moments before ultimately losing. So was the case with their MMA fight at UFC 281. Due to the insane size difference between the two, Adesanya was the faster fighter in the Octagon. Pereria seemed to be having a tough time dealing with Izzy’s speed and precision. It almost won Adesanya the fight at the end of round 1.
With merely a few seconds left in the clock, Adesanya landed a perfectly timed punch that rocked Pereira. Izzy was quick to follow up, but the Brazilian fighter survived as the time ran out. But there was not much improvement in Pereira’s performance in the following 3 rounds either. Hence, by the time the last round came around, Alex desperately needed to finish the fight.
Ahead of round 5, Adesanya was up by 39-37 in all three judges’ scorecards. Even if Alex was to win the last round, he still would have lost the bout. So Alex went ahead and finished the fight at the 2:01 minute mark of the final round to become the new UFC middleweight champ. Although it was Pereira who executed the KO, Glover Teixeira played a crucial role in the fight.
Glover Teixeira motivated Alex Pereira to knock Israel Adesanya out
Former UFC light heavyweight champ, Glover Teixeira, is a teammate of Alex Pereira. The 35-year-old trains out of Teixeira MMA & Fitness. While Pereira helped Glover to improve his striking, Glover undoubtedly improved Alex’s grappling. The 43-year-old was also present at Alex’s corner during the fight. He was constantly providing Pereira with input and his passionate pep-talk in the final round was goosebump-inducing.
After the fight, Glover spoke to the commentary team of Joe Rogan, Daniel Cormier, and Jon Anik. When asked about the conversation between him and Alex Pereira, Glover revealed, “I did (ask him to go crazy). He (Alex) look at me like this, ‘I have to knock him out?’ I said you better knock him out.”
But Glover’s plan for Alex Pereira is not limited to just being the middleweight champ. After his one-sided UFC 282 loss against Jamahal Hill for the 205 lbs title, Glover revealed that he wants to coach Alex to a light heavyweight title as well. But, Alex has to focus on the upcoming rematch against Israel Adesanya at UFC 287 first.
If he wins the bout, then perhaps he may look to fight the current 205 lbs champ Jamahal Hill next. There was a viral video of him sizing up Hill after the UFC 283 main event in Brazil. There is no doubt that fans would love to see the two go head-to-head at some point the in the near future.