Alex “Poatan” Pereira believes that Middleweight fighter Israel Adesanya is just confused over his decision to have a “long” break from mixed martial arts. In a recent interview, Pereira said that his rival would be back sooner than later.
Adesanya announced his planned MMA absence after his loss to Sean Strickland. Prior to that, Adesanya managed to take back from Pereira the 185-pound title via a brutal knockout in April. The Nigerian-New Zealander explained in an interview on “The Rock” podcast that his injuries from this earlier bout allowed Strickland to win at UFC 293.
“I had injuries going into the Pereira fight, you’ve seen that,” said Adesanya. “I don’t make any excuses. Strickland got me on the night because he was the better fighter on the night. He did his work well. He had a good team behind him.
“Now I’m going to take time to look after myself, and I’m not going to fight for a long time. I’m definitely not going to retire because I know me — I’m not leaving like that. I know me. But if I did, I’m fine. I don’t need to prove anything else. But I know what I can do and what I can change in my lifestyle to make my body adapt to where I need to be. I’m going to heal myself up. You won’t see me fight for a long time.”
Despite the expected long break his rival announced, Pereira thinks Adesanya would be back earlier than expected, explaining that the younger fighter is just unable to think clearly. “It’s hard to say anything about it because it’s hard to understand Adesanya on that position,” Pereira told CBS Sports’ Shakiel Mahjouri. “He’s saying that he’s going to take all this time off, but it’s not only about money. The guy already made his money. It’s not about that. He likes to fight. So maybe he’s just confused so he has to hold on and see what’s next. I think he comes back earlier than that and faster than everybody believes.”
Poatan is set to face Czech MMA fighter Jiri Prochazka at UFC 295 on Saturday, marking the Brazilian’s continuous goals for his career. As for the Last Stylebender, it remains unknown when we will witness another bout, with his break length expected to be “long” and unspecified.