Dana White has plans for Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira, plans that don’t include an immediate third UFC meeting between the two.
A week removed from Adesanya knocking Alex Pereira out at UFC 288 to reclaim the middleweight title, White was asked at the UFC Kansas City post-fight press conference if the promotion has anything in mind for Adesanya’s next fight. The popular Adesanya earned a long-awaited victory over Pereira after three losses to “Poatan” across MMA and kickboxing and there has been talk of the two facing off one more time in the cage.
Pereira himself shot that down earlier this week when he announced that he is moving up to light heavyweight, so White is now making it a priority to find Pereira an opponent in that division.
“You put him in title contention and then he has to beat someone to even be considered in title contention,” White said. “He’s got to move to 205 and beat a real guy, so that’s what we’re looking at right now, getting a real guy.”
As for Adesanya, White is excited at the prospect of Adesanya fighting again soon and said that “The Last Stylebender” is already champing at the bit to return to action.
“I said this before and I’ll say it again, at the last press conference in Miami, this guy was already blowing Hunter and the boys up, ‘When’s my next fight? When’s my next fight? I want to fight again. I want to fight again,’” White said. “I love that about Israel Adesanya. Israel Adesanya wants to fight non-stop, constantly, and he wants to fight everybody. We’re working on that and he’ll fight again soon, maybe before the end of the summer.
A number of opponents have lined up to face Adesanya, including Dricus Du Plessis, Khamzat Chimaev, and past foe Jan Blachowicz, but White said it’s premature to name who will be Adesanya’s first title defense of his second reign.
“Not yet,” White said. “Or I would have announced it.”