Israel Adesanya has broken silence over comments by some of his fans who disapproved of what he termed fondly mockery of 12-year-old Alex Pereira’s son after reclaiming his UFC 287 title from his father, the Brazilian last weekend.
Adesanya said he was not particularly apologetic after his victory at the Octagon, as he told the media that he wanted to “teach the 12-year-old a lesson, and calling him a**hole”.
After post-fight interview with the media on Saturday, the two-time champion was seen pointing to someone in the crowd, before mockingly jumping to the floor and playing dead.
It then emerged that he was looking at Pereira’s son, who made the same sign after Pereira and Adesanya’s second kickboxing fight seven years ago in which the Brazilian won by knockout.
Adesanya’s gesture has shown discord among his fans on social media, with some feeling that it’s a case of ‘what goes around comes around’, while others saying it was over-the-top for such gesture to be made by a 33-year-old man towards a 12-year-old boy.
The young fighter told sources “I’m petty,” during an emotional press conference, as gathered by News About Nigeria, admitting that the gesture had played on his mind. “I remember the first time he knocked me out in Brazil his son came into the ring and hit a plastic bottle on his and fell to the ground to demonstrate how I was knockout by his father next to me. I’m like ‘you f***ing little a**hole, I’ll whoop your a** if your dad won’t do it for you.”
However, Adesanya said he has no issue with the little boy’s father as both of them are cool.
“After the match, I looked for his kid and I pointed at him and I saw him. I was like ‘hey, hey hey,’ just to remind him. I saw him [Pereira] backstage and we’re cool. He’s a great champion, he’s a warrior. I’m only the antagonist in his story, he’s a f***ing beast coming from where he’s come from and the adversity he’s faced in his life to get to where he is.”
Meanwhile, Alex Pereira has also admitted that he understands why Israel Adesanya took aim at his son after landing a knockout win in their world title rematch last Saturday.
For seven years over, three fights in two different sports, Adesanya has been racing for victory over Pereira but was thwarted on each occasion. He, however, managed to land a massive knockout win in his fourth match against Pereira at UFC 287.