Alex Pereira should be grateful to be fighting for the UFC Middleweight Championship, which is about Israel Adesanya.Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Adesanya doesn’t believe Pereira earned the UFC middleweight title after just three fights in the octagon. It took Pereira 371 days to achieve title contender status, eclipsing the time it took Adesanya to achieve the feat and in fewer fights. Adesanya credits his shared history with Pereira in the kickboxing world and Adesanya’s success against other opponents as contributing to Pereira’s accelerated growth.
“What have you done to deserve this place? I still don’t think he deserved this spot, but I applaud it because he’s new to it. I want to salute him and I want to expose him in this,” Adesanya told Luke Thomas for Morning Fight on Tuesday. “If he had the mileage that I have, if he had to go through the people that I went through, he would have been exposed three fights ago. path.
“I cleared the way for him because I cleared the division. It was a direct path to me.”
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Adesanya went from UFC debut to interim middleweight title fight with Kelvin Gastelum in 426 days, and from debut to undisputed world title fight in 519 days. In that run, which boasts an impressive five fights in 366 days, he defeated Whittaker, Gastelum, Anderson Silva, Derek Brunson, Brad Tavares, Marvin Vettori and Rob Wilkinson.
Pereira’s rapid rise to contender status means his UFC hit list is yet to match that of Adesanya, who has only defeated Sean Strickland, Bruno Silva and Andreas Mihaidis in his three UFC appearances.
“I had a more impressive result,” Adesanya said. “So to speak”.
Adesanya and Pereira have something to prove on Saturday night. Pereira is full of confidence after defeating Adesanya twice in kickboxing and giving Adesanya the only knockout loss of his career. Meanwhile, Adesanya is building his business as the greatest UFC middleweight of all time and has a chance to establish his dominance over Pereira in a new playing field.