This weekend at UFC 281, Adesanya and Pereira will meet for the third time across combat sports and the first inside a mixed martial arts cage. Previously, the pair threw down inside the kickboxing ring, with “Poatan” adding two victories over “The Last Stylebender” to his record.
Now, with Adesanya reigning supreme on the UFC’s 185-pound throne and Pereira quickly firing his way to the top in just three fights inside the Octagon, they’ll meet in MMA for the very first time.
Ahead of fight week, the buildup to the Madison Square Garden-held headliner wasn’t exactly animosity-filled. Instead, it featured a large dose of ‘trolling’ from the challenger. As well as a morning jibe at the champion based on the result of their rematch, which saw Pereira knock Adesanya out, the Brazilian has also paid attention to his opponent’s training.
After seeing the Nigerian-New Zealander dodging tennis balls during his camp, Pereira appeared to mock him on social media. He captioned a video showing him sparring whilst on a hoverboard, “Training with tennis ball is easy, I want to see [him] train boxing on a hoverboard.”
While Adesanya has previously hit back by comparing Pereira’s antics to those of his countryman, Paulo Costa, he’s now brought a UFC legend into the mix.
Adesanya Reminds Pereira Who He Shares Training Technique With
During a recent interview on his YouTube channel, Adesanya once again addressed Pereira’s mockery, and specifically, the post surrounding his tennis ball training.
GOAT contender Anderson Silva famously credited a training technique that involved dodging tennis balls for his speed and “spider sense” in an interview with Brasil Combate. After noting that the former middleweight king arguably made the technique famous, Adesanya questioned whether Pereira was mocking him too.
“Anderson Silva made that really famous. It’s like, are you dissing Anderson Silva as well? Saying his training techniques are stupid?” Adesanya said. “I don’t know, the hoverboard thing was stupid. I didn’t even know that was a diss at me. I was like, ‘What? Okay, cool. Hey, bro, cool story, you do you.’ He’s got bragging rights, so you do you. I don’t have to say much. I will speak when it’s time with violence.”
Now in UFC 281 fight week, Pereira has continued to fire subtle shots at Adesanya online, most recently by taking a picture with someone dressed as Elsa from Frozen in New York — a reference to a line Adesanya said at UFC 276.
Nevertheless, the time for talking is nearly over, and Adesanya will look to answer Pereira’s pre-fight jests with another impressive performance and title defense inside the Octagon.
What did you make of Alex Pereira mocking Israel Adesanya’s training videos?
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