Alex Pereira Credits Glover Teixeira for Urgent Corner Advice Prior to UFC 281 Win

Though he didn’t necessarily know it at the time, Alex Pereira was down on the scorecards heading into the fifth round of his middleweight championship clash with Israel Adesanya at UFC 281.

Fortunately for him, he had Glover Teixeira in his corner to provide the appropriate sense of urgency.

“I knew it was going to be a very hard fight,” Pereira said through a translator at Saturday’s post-fight press conference. “I tried to pace myself, but going into the last round, my corners and Glover kept it real with me. I looked at him and said, ‘Do I have to knock him out?’ And Glover said, ‘You do have to knock him out.’ And then I said, ‘OK, let’s do it.’”

“Poatan” put the pressure on Adesanya in the final frame, swarming with power punches against the fence to earn a technical knockout victory at the 2:01 mark of Round 5. Adesanya admitted he would’ve liked a little more leeway to recover from referee Marc Goddard before the stoppage arrived.

“F—k, my ego would say at least let me go out on my shield,” Adesanya said. “But I don’t think I would have gone out because I was still there. I’ve seen worse stoppages. F—-ing bring back Steve Mazzagatti. I would have been fine. He might have won that round, but I’d still be champion.”

Pereira felt differently. Though Adesanya didn’t drop during the final sequence, he was slouched forward with his head exposed as the Brazilian continued to unload heavy artillery.

“People can say whatever, but Izzy was taking some pretty heavy hits,” Pereira said. “The referee is there for a reason, to keep you safe. So I think it was absolutely correct.”

Pereira almost didn’t make it that far. Adesanya had his rival reeling with an overhand right and left hook at the end of the opening stanza. If there had been more time left in the round, Pereira might’ve had his night end early. Instead, he credits the moment for helping to sharpen his focus.

“It hurt me a lot. I’m not going to lie,” Pereira said. “But with that said, I think it helped me stay sharper, stay with it, and then I started to put more pressure, and also make him work more, which I think I was able to get him a little more tired, too.”

Pereira is now 3-0 against Adesanya in combat sports, with two of those victories coming in kickboxing. According to “Poatan,” his UFC championship surpasses the kickboxing titles he won in previous years.

“This is the main one, for sure, because every other ones are important, but due to the history and everything, this is my main win,” Pereira said.

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