Pereira (9-2 MMA, 6-1 UFC) issued Adesanya a challenge after he knocked out Jiri Prochazka to claim the vacant light heavyweight title in this past Saturday’s UFC 295 headliner at Madison Square Garden. He accomplished the feat of becoming a two-weight UFC champion, something Adesanya failed to do.
Adesanya (24-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) laughed off Pereira’s callout, claiming he is living “rent free” in his head. Although Adesanya recently knocked out Pereira at UFC 287, he’s no longer middleweight champion after a surprise lopsided loss to Sean Strickland at UFC 293. So by calling out Adesanya, Cormier thinks Pereira just gave him the upperhand again.
“My thought on the whole rivalry over accomplishment, for me, is I think he’s a little wrong to be looking back at Izzy,” Cormier said on his YouTube channel. “Because you know what he does? He gives Izzy power over him. Izzy’s just sitting on the couch watching. You saw Izzy’s reaction. He’s laughing at him.”
Ben Askren, Cormier’s co-host for their show “Funky & The Champ,” argued that although Pereira has beaten Adesanya three times in kickboxing and MMA, he wants the last laugh.
But Cormier insists that Pereira giving Adesanya importance is not a good look.
“I get it. You want to beat him and put him in his place,” Cormier said. “But every time, especially when you’re on the mountaintop, you speak to him. You give him power.
“He’s giving Adesanya power. … He (Adesanya) goes, ‘I own a lot of property, Most of my real estate is in Alex Pereira’s head.’ Because when Alex Pereira is the king of the world, he’s calling for him. So by putting this rivalry and making it so important to him, he is giving the guy the power, and I don’t think he understands that.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 295.