Years before Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya competed in the UFC, they competed in kickboxing. Let’s take a look at what happened in those fights, along with watching the full fight videos.
The first kickboxing fight between Pereira and Adesanya took place on April 2nd in Shenzhen, China at Glory of Heroes 1. This was a highly competitive fight that saw Pereira win a unanimous decision. Many, including Adesanya, believed he won the fight. You can judge that for yourself by watching the full kickboxing fight video below.
The second kickboxing fight took place less than one year later at Glory of Heroes 7 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The rematch started off competitive, but Adesanya started to hurt Pereira, even securing a standing eight count. While Pereira looked like he was about to lose, he came back in the 3rd round and finished Adesanya with a left hook. This was the first knockout loss of Adesanya’s combat sports career. After the fight, Alex Pereira’s son got into the ring and mocked Adesanya by falling to the ground. You can watch the Pereira vs. Adesanya 2 kickboxing full fight video below.
This would end up being the final fight of Adesanya’s kickboxing career. He went on to pursue MMA full-time while Pereira stayed in kickboxing. Adesanya would end up thriving in the UFC, becoming one of the greatest Champions in UFC history, while Pereira would succeed in kickboxing.
Before Adesanya fought Yoel Romero in March of 2020, he did an interview with Sporting News Australia. Adesanya was asked about Pereira, who, at the time, had not competed in MMA in 4 years. Adesanya said in the interview, “He's gonna be at some pub while I'm world Champion saying I beat that guy while trying to get a d*ck suck from a crack whore”.
Pereira, who’s struggled with alcoholism in the past, had a fire lit under him after watching that interview. He returned to MMA 7 months later with Adesanya as his eventual target. He made it to the UFC and destroyed the competition, earning a title shot against Adesanya.
Just like he did in kickboxing, Pereira defeated Adesanya in MMA and became the new UFC Middleweight Champion. You can view the Adesanya vs. Pereira full fight video from UFC 281 below.
The oddsmakers are always confident in Israel Adesanya.— Verdict (@TournamentsMMA) April 5, 2023
He's lost 3 fights to Alex Pereira, but the oddsmakers still have him as a favorite heading into this weekend.#UFC287 pic.twitter.com/0MF4krsH1v