This month Alex Pereira became the new UFC champion, and in the fifth round of the fight, he defeated Israel Adesanya by technical knockout and took away his belt. In total, it was the third time that Pereira defeated Adesanya, and he achieved the previous two victories in kickboxing.
The first victory in MMA against the former champion is also the most valuable for him, and it is expected that we will watch their fourth meeting. Alex Pereira became the champion in his fourth UFC match, but he admitted that he was still afraid before one.
It's a fight against Sean Strickland, and Pereira said why he was scared:
“Talking about my last fight, [Strickland] had 25 fights, was doing well in the UFC, ranked No. 4 in the middleweight rankings, he’s dangerous, he’s experienced,” Pereira said.
“I was scared, but when I heard him talk, I relaxed a little bit. He is a good fighter and a experienced one, but he was talking some stuff that didn’t make any sense. For a few months since the fight was booked I had fear, but it was under control.
But I’ll tell you when I was the most afraid. Everything he said and up until the weigh-in, everything was fine. When he entered the octagon and started staring at me, he hadn’t looked at me that way before. That was when I became scared.
“He’s another person inside the Octagon, different from his normal personality,” Pereira continued. “I thought ‘This guy wants to kill me’ I’m telling you, this was a different guy from everything else.
But in the end it was good that he entered the octagon this way, because it woke me up, I became aware of the danger, I knew I couldn’t make mistakes. I said damn, he’s different in here, you have to be careful with this man.
I went in smarter and managed to catch him”. Regardless of his fear, Pereira knocked him out in the first round and earned a shot at the title, and we all know how that fight turned out in the end. “Even though I’m scared and I’m afraid to fail, when I walk to the Octagon, I look like I’m, it’s impossible for me to fail and I look very confident, like I’m going to kick ass for sure,” he said back in 2013. “But the truth is, deep down inside, I’m scared as hell”.