November 13, 2022 2:45 am ET
NEW YORK – Just because Alex Pereira is up to 3-0 in the lifetime series doesn’t mean a fourth Israel Adesanya fight is out of the question.
According to UFC president Dana White, it’s possible the promotion runs the fight back with an immediate MMA rematch after UFC 281. He praised Adesanya’s willingness to compete and indirectly pointed to it as a reason for potential reward.
“(Adesanya) wanted this fight,” White told reporters and MMA Junkie at a post-fight news conference at Madison Square Garden. “A lot of people talk publicly and it’s a whole different story behind the scenes. That guy is an absolute stud. He always wants to stay active.
“In a fight that most guys would stall, ‘Give me more time. Give me this, that,’ he dove right into this fight. His only loss was when he tried to move up in weight to 205. You’ve got to respect him as champ and what he’s done. … I wouldn’t rule (an immediate rematch) out.”
Pereira (7-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) defeated Adesanya for the third time in their combat sports careers when he stopped the then-champion by fifth-round TKO. The loss was Adesanya’s first at middleweight and his first stoppage defeat.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 281.