Israel Adesanya seen taunting Alex Pereira’s son after brutal knockout
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Israel Adesanya has explained why he taunted Alex Pereira's son after knocking out the Brazilian to reclaim his middleweight title at UFC 287.
With Pereira lying on the canvas out cold, Adesanya began celebrating his historic victory.
To start with, the Nigerian-born New Zealander mimicked his rival by firing three imaginary arrows into his body while he was unconcious.
I’ve ruined Christmas 2023. 🎄 https://t.co/Ck1kW2hqyd— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) April 10, 2023
Wheeling away in celebration, he then pointed towards Pereira's son in the crowd and taunted him by pretending to be KO'd himself, collapsing to the ground in a heap.
It was a savage celebration to say the least, but it turns out there was a hidden meaning behind it afterall.
“I’m petty,” Adesanya said in his post-fight press conference.
“I remember. The first time he knocked me out in Brazil, his son came into the ring and then just started to lie dead next to me. I’m like, ‘You f****** little a******, I’ll whoop your ass if your dad don’t do it for you.’ I looked for his kid, I pointed at him, and I saw him and I was like, ‘Hey, hey, hey,’ just to remind him.”
The footage of the celebrations instantly went viral.
But when new angles emerged of Pereira's kids crying in their mother's arms, viewers began questioning Adesanya's actions, labelling him "pathetic" and "disgusting".
Steve Ibbotson Kickboxing wrote on Instagram: “A 35-year-old man holding a grudge against a boy is the weakest thing I’ve ever seen. Awesome fighter, awesome finish and I knew it was going to happen. But the dude has zero class.”
After the shocking KO, the cold-as-ice arrow shooting celebration, and the inspiring promo; Izzy admits he was too petty not to clown Pereira's son in revenge. Absolutely hilarious. #UFC287 pic.twitter.com/jrAB7iMN3R— 𝕵𝖚𝖘𝖙𝖎𝖓 𝕲𝖔𝖑𝖎𝖌𝖍𝖙𝖑𝖞 (@justin_golight) April 9, 2023
Wow izzy. Doesn’t forget he got his revenge on his son pic.twitter.com/mX23VsiQlZ— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) April 9, 2023
On the other hand, some praised it, saying that Pereira's son got taught a valuable lesson.
But despite all that, Adesanya admitted there's no bad blood between the pair
“I saw [Pereira] backstage. We’re cool,” he added.
“He’s a great champion, he’s a warrior. His story, I mean that, I’m the antagonist of his story. He’s a f****** beast, coming from where he’s come from. The adversities he’s been through in his life to get to where he’s gotten now, and taking me out the way he has, it’s a f****** beautiful story for him. But like I said, tonight it’s not about his story, it’s about my story, which is history.”