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“He’s Not Even a Teenager”: Months After Israel Adesanya Mocked 12-Year-Old Son, Alex Pereira Opens Up on Controversial Stunt by UFC Champ

Published 06/06/2023, 3:50 AM EDT

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Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya wrote the fourth chapter in their historic rivalry almost two months ago. The magnitude of that fight and its result was so much so that the post-fight discussions are still happening today. With both fighters tied 1-1 in the UFC, talks of a trilogy are ever-present in their interviews.

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As much as the result of the fight, Adesanya’s post-fight celebrations also made headlines. The middleweight champion was so glad to finally get one back against the 3-0 up Pereira that he pulled out all the stocks during his celebration. The 33-year-old also took the turn to return fire by using Pereira’s own archery celebration aimed at his knocked-out body. Further, ‘Izzy’ settled an old score by mocking Pereira’s son in the audience.

via Imago

Ever since then, Adesanya has gotten negative feedback for going after a child, and ‘Poatan’ gets asked about his reactions to the celebration. The case was the same during a recent episode of ‘The MMA Hour.’ Ariel Helwani asked the towering Brazilian about his feeling regarding Adesanya’s celebration. Pereira had a response befitting a champion.


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Alex Pereira looks back at Adesanya’s UFC 287 celebrations

Answering Helwani’s query, Alex Pereira said, “Well I don’t have too much to say. I already spoke about this subject.” Through his translator, Pereira said that when his son pranked [Adesanya] he was six years old.

‘Poatan’ continued saying that after he had beaten Adesanya in November for the belt, he saw that his son was going to do it again, and he went and said “Don’t do it. Stay quiet.”


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The 35-year-old said his 12-year-old son could not even be considered a teenager and that he didn’t have the same mindset as a man. The Brazilian said he would not have done the same had he been in Adesanya’s place.


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Pereira added that he holds no grudge against Adesanya for the celebrations. He said, “Izzy thinks he needed to do that to feel better. It is what it is. Even with people responding after that maybe Israel learn a lesson from that too.”

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The pair can’t seem to get rid of each other. They had another chance encounter at an airport after both of them visited Australia around the same time. However, things were cordial between the rivals during their brief meeting.


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What are your thoughts on Pereira’s comments? What is your stance on Adesanya’s choice of celebration? Let us know in the comments.



Yeswanth Praveen

926 articles

Yeswanth Praveen is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports, having written over 500 articles on the sport. With a Master’s degree in English Literature, Yeswanth expertly combines his writing and storytelling skills with his passion for MMA. He was initially drawn to the sport after the intense rivalry between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov captured his attention.

Edited By: Brandon Gabriel