Alex Pereira is giving MMA another go.
The Legacy Fighting Alliance announced Thursday that it has signed the two-division Glory Kickboxing champion who is perhaps best known to MMA fans as the last person to date to defeat current UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.
Pereira, 33, actually holds two kickboxing wins over Adesanya, though it is his second victory over “The Last Stylebender” that has resonated since they fought in March 2017. At a Glory of Heroes show in Brazil, Pereira knocked Adesanya out with a devastating left hook.
Less than a year later, Adesanya would join the UFC where he has posted a 9-0 record and two successful defenses of a middleweight title. Pereira's LFA debut is set for Nov. 20, taking on Thomas Powell in a middleweight contest, MMA Fighting has learned. PVT first reported the booking.
“When I fought Adesanya (in kickboxing), I only had 20 or so fights and he had 80. If I were to think like that, I would have been crazy to fight him, and I beat him twice,” Pereira said in a November 2018 interview with MMA Fighting. “I’m sure I can do a good job in MMA. I’m not young, of course. To become a complete, well-rounded fighter, it would take me 10 years, but I’m evolving every day I train, and I evolve fast. I’m stronger than (Adesanya). At the weigh-ins, I would tell him ‘if you take me to the ground, I’ll know you’re scared of my hands.’ And I’m no fool on the ground.”
Pereira holds a 2-1 record in MMA, most recently defeating Marcus Vinicius by TKO in May 2016 at a Jungle Fights event in Brazil. In 2019, he authored two successful defenses of his Glory middleweight title and also captured an interim light heavyweight belt.