Adesanya has had three encounters with Pereira in his professional career, twice in kickboxing and the other in the UFC.
Unfortunately, he has lost all three of them. He lost the last two fights by knockout in the final round, even though he had a lead on the scorecards.
And in the process, he lost his UFC middleweight title during a fight-round knockout. The manner of the defeats was also difficult to swallow.
In the most recent one at UFC 281, Pereira managed to stage a comeback in the final three minutes and finish Adesanya, who was on the verge of winning by unanimous decision.
Pereira also achieved a similar victory in their 2017 kickboxing rematch, while the outcome of their first meeting in 2016, which was won controversially by the Brazilian, is disputed.
With that being said, Adesanya wanted to put things right: “I’m down two fights in kickboxing, one fight in MMA, so I’m down three, and this is like in every movie — your one shot.
“This is my Eminem moment, my ‘8 Mile’ moment. You get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow, this opportunity comes once in a lifetime, and this is it. This is it for me,” Adesanya
Despite his desire to right the wrongs of the past, Pereira made it clear that Adesanya was rushing the rematch.
He echoed the words of Adesanya’s coach, Eugene Bareman, who felt that he should have waited before jumping straight into the bout. And that is something that could cost Adesanya.
“If he was on my team, I would tell him, ‘Man, don’t do this fight now. He’s had a brilliant career but he saw there’s no success against me, so I would definitely advise him against doing this fight now. Fight once or twice, and then come back and try again.
“I think Adesanya didn’t listen. I’m sure many important people told him not to do this, but he has the final word. It’s his ego as a fighter, but OK then, let’s go,” Pereira