Though he didn’t necessarily know it at the time, Alex
Pereira
was down on the scorecards heading into the fifth round
of his middleweight championship clash with Israel
Adesanya
at UFC
281
.

Fortunately for him, he had Glover
Teixeira
in his corner to provide the appropriate sense of
urgency.

“I knew it was going to be a very hard fight,” Pereira said through
a translator at Saturday’s post-fight press conference. “I tried to
pace myself, but going into the last round, my corners and Glover
kept it real with me. I looked at him and said, ‘Do I have to knock
him out?’ And Glover said, ‘You do have to knock him out.’ And then
I said, ‘OK, let’s do it.’”

“Poatan” put the pressure on Adesanya in the final frame, swarming
with power punches against the fence to earn a technical knockout
victory at the 2:01 mark of Round 5. Adesanya admitted he would’ve
liked a little more leeway to recover from referee Marc Goddard
before the stoppage arrived.

“F—k, my ego would say at least let me go out on my shield,”
Adesanya said. “But I don’t think I would have gone out because I
was still there. I’ve seen worse stoppages. F—-ing bring back Steve
Mazzagatti. I would have been fine. He might have won that round,
but I’d still be champion.”

Pereira felt differently. Though Adesanya didn’t drop during the
final sequence, he was slouched forward with his head exposed as
the Brazilian continued to unload heavy artillery.

“People can say whatever, but Izzy was taking some pretty heavy
hits,” Pereira said. “The referee is there for a reason, to keep
you safe. So I think it was absolutely correct.”

Pereira almost didn’t make it that far. Adesanya had his rival
reeling with an overhand right and left hook at the end of the
opening stanza. If there had been more time left in the round,
Pereira might’ve had his night end early. Instead, he credits the
moment for helping to sharpen his focus.

“It hurt me a lot. I’m not going to lie,” Pereira said. “But with
that said, I think it helped me stay sharper, stay with it, and
then I started to put more pressure, and also make him work more,
which I think I was able to get him a little more tired, too.”

Pereira is now 3-0 against Adesanya in combat sports, with two of
those victories coming in kickboxing. According to “Poatan,” his
UFC championship surpasses the kickboxing titles he won in previous
years.

“This is the main one, for sure, because every other ones are
important, but due to the history and everything, this is my main
win,” Pereira said.





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Alex Pereira Credits Glover Teixeira for Urgent Corner Advice Prior to UFC 281 Win

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