For Israel Adesanya, getting to settle the score with Alex Pereira at UFC 287 matters more than the title itself.
Israel Adesanya has so far been winless against longtime rival Alex Pereira. “The Last Stylebender” has been 0-3 so far, with the most recent loss happening at UFC 281 last November, where he lost the undisputed middleweight title in the process.
The two are set for a rematch for the UFC 185-pound title at UFC 287. And for Adesanya, getting to finally notch a win over Pereira matters much more than reclaiming the belt he once held for three straight years.
“I’ve never not been motivated to fight this guy, but for this one I’ve put the pressure on myself,” Adesanya said during the UFC 284 media scrum in Perth on Saturday (H/T MMA Fighting).
“Like, f–k the belt, f–k everything else. I have to beat this guy, so that’s my motivation, just beating him. Like I said, they can say whatever they want, it’s 1-0 or 3-0.
“I don’t keep score, I settle them and I just need one and I’m going to get it done.”
Adesanya also isn’t planning to make any major adjustments for the upcoming part two with Pereira.
“Just keep the same energy because I’m always beating him until I’m not. So I’m just going to make sure I keep beating him the whole way through.
“I go in there and I don’t overthink. I’m not gun-shy. I go in there and I trade with people, especially with him as well, so expect me to do what I do. Like I said, I have to talk because you guys want me to talk but say less and I’ll do more. I promise you I’ll do more in this fight.”
UFC 287 takes place on April 8th in Miami. Expected to co-headline the event is a welterweight bout between Gilbert Burns and Jorge Masvidal.