mobile app bar

“Got That Dawg”: Israel Adesanya Channelizes Inner ‘Jet Li’ Ahead of His Mega-Fight With Alex Pereira at UFC 287

Himakshu Vyas

Israel Adesanya Jet Li

The former UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is set to face his toughest test yet as he prepares to take on Alex Pereira. This fourth fight between the two is much anticipated, as Adesanya is looking to reclaim the UFC middleweight championship from his arch rival ‘Poatan’. Adesanya has shared the stage with Pereira three times before, but this time he’s determined to emerge victorious. With both fighters at the peak of their careers, this fight is expected to be a nail-biting encounter.

Adesanya’s UFC journey started in 2017 and since then he has enjoyed tremendous success in the octagon. He not only won the middleweight championship but was also aiming to break Anderson Silva’s records. However, his dreams of achieving the feat were shattered by his previous loss to Pereira.

Israel Adesanya
Jul 2, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Israel Adesanya (red gloves) reacts after defeating Jared Cannonier (blue gloves) during UFC 276 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Adesanya’s defeat has cast a shadow of doubt over his ability to win against top fighters. Furthermore, his friend Kamaru Usman’s recent loss to Leon Edwards has added to the pressure on Adesanya.

As a result, the outcome of this fight is very important for both fans and critics alike. This has prompted Adesanya to channel his inner Jet Li in order to prepare for his fight.

Israel Adesanya inspired by Jet Li’s ‘Unleashed’

With his latest Tweet, Adesanya shows not only how bent he is to regain his title, but also his love for movies. Adesanya’s decision to enter combat sports was after watching the movie ‘Ong Bak’. However, this time it is from Jet Li’s ‘Unleashed’.

Via a recent Tweet, he said, “IYKYK. He got that Dawg in him!!

He wore a collar to his press conference. Moreover, in the premise of the movie once the collar comes off, Jet Li attacks his opponents relentlessly. This draws comparison with Rock Lee’s fight against Gara during the Chunin exams in Naruto anime, of which Adesanya is a huge fan of as well.

It remains unclear whether this will be enough to push him over the line against ‘Poatan’. Last time they fought each other, Adesanya was dominating the fight till the last round when Pereira took the fight by the scruff of its neck and finished the Kiwi champion.

Pereira – Adesanya a never-ending rivalry?

During a podcast with Andrew Schulz, former UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya shared his burning desire to fight Alex Pereira, stating that he would do whatever it takes to avenge his previous loss and reclaim his title.

As one of the greatest middleweight fighters, Adesanya has already defeated some of the division’s toughest opponents, including Robert Whittaker, Marvin Vettori, Paulo Costa and Yoel Romero, making the upcoming fight against Pereira even more significant for the promotion.

He said,

“He [Pereira] said like, ‘Oh, I don’t think he’s gonna want an immediate rematch.’ I’m like, ‘F** you.’ He doesn’t know me. I will fight you until I beat you.

I don’t give a fu**. I’ll be 60, I’ll come to your favela, I’ll knock on your f***king door [with] my walking stick and be like, ‘Yo, you and me right now.’

Like, we need to go because that’s just me. I don’t give a f***. Even if it’s just one. I’ll beat you. I know I can beat him.”

However, the question remains, will a victory over Pereira end the longstanding rivalry between the two fighters? If Adesanya emerges triumphant, both fighters will be tied at 1-1 in their professional MMA careers.

With no bigger fight for the promotion and Adesanya himself, the upcoming bout against Pereira promises to be a monumental one for the former middleweight champion.

About the author

Himakshu Vyas

Himakshu Vyas


Himakshu Vyas, is a journalist with a passion for uncovering the truth and crafting captivating narratives. With a decade of die-hard Manchester United support and a love for soccer and MMA, Himakshu brings a unique perspective to the world of sports. His daily indulgence in MMA training keeps him fit and gives him the athlete's point of view. He's a huge fan of UFC's 'The Notorious' Connor McGregor and Jon Jones, admiring their dedication and discipline. When he's not exploring the world of sports, Himakshu loves to travel and cook, putting his own spin on different cuisines. Ready to deliver exceptional content, this dynamic and motivated journalist is always eager to share his insights with readers.

Read more from Himakshu Vyas

Share this article