Nigerian-New Zealander fighter, Israel Adesanya has revealed why he could not defend his middleweight title against Alex Pereira.
Truetells Nigeria reports that Brazilian Alexsandro Pereira knocked out the Nigerian-born UFC fighter at UFC 281 in Madison Square Garden in the United States on Sunday morning.
Speaking about the defeat during his post-fight press conference, Adesanya said, “I’m grateful. What a life, what a moment… crazy, isn’t it? Similar to the last time, the same story, it’s crazy. I was fine, the first thing I said to the ref was ‘I’m fine because I was still lucid, still in there and I was fine but happens.
“I talked to my coaches and I trust them, but I was fine, I could see everything that was happening. My eyes might have rolled into the back of my head a little bit but I was lucid.
“I’m grateful, I’m proud, my team’s proud of me and respectfully. It’s all about my team.
“This is my third fight in ten months, every time I fight, I risk losing what you guys deem as prestigious, which it is, the belt. But it is, I put it all on the line because I’m not trying to just fight once and then chill, do my lap around and parade as a champion and not risk so much.
“I put it all on the line and this is what happens. Dare to be great, and I am. I know what I can do. The fight was going my way, he hit my perineal nerve, so that’s why my footwork was compromised.
“Even when I tripped and did the backward rolly-polly it was because I just tripped over which is not like me. Kudos to him for investing in those calf kicks because it cost me.”