Israel Adesanya has welcomed a trilogy fight with Alex Pereira, but has warned that ‘you guys see what happens when my back’s against the wall’.
Pereira stopped Adesanya back in 2017 when the pair fought under the banner of Glory of Heroes.
Adesanya has since gone on to become the UFC middleweight champion, while Pereira has worked his way into a position to challenge for world title gold.
The Brazilian all but guaranteed himself a crack at the 185lb belt with a vicious knockout of Sean Strickland, and Adesanya has subsequently confirmed that Pereira will indeed be his next opponent.
“That’s the next fight,” he told the post-fight press conference.
“I saw his fight. It was a good fight, but Sean Strickland should have focused on his job like I told him to.
“Soon. How soon? We’ll find out.
“I’m facing the guy who’s beat me in kickboxing, and now he’s still chasing me because he knows I’m the king and he wants to try and get that away from me.
“You guys see what happens when my back’s against the wall, when I really have that pressure.
“I put pressure on myself, but then I have pressure put on me, as well, so I look forward to fighting him in the next fight. How soon? We’ll find out.”
Pereira was also less than complimentary about his performance against Jared Cannonier.
However, it seems like Adesanya doesn’t really care that much about his opinion.
He added: “Like I said, it’s nice at the top.
“So whatever he feels he needs to do to make me fight, [good for him].
“I fought tonight. I fought my a** off tonight. I didn’t feel like I was chilling or I was waiting.
“I was pressing the action, I was going for it, I was touching him up.
“But like I said I was just critical because I couldn’t get my power stuff going, I couldn’t get my change ups going, but he’s a formidable opponent. You can’t sleep on this guy because he’ll sleep you and I’m not here to risk my health or risk my brain.
“I do that but I’m not going to do it just to entertain some drunk folks.”