Israel Adesanya expects his fourth meeting with Alex Pereira to be the last.
In Saturday’s UFC 287 main event, Adesanya has the chance to regain the UFC middleweight title that he lost to Pereira last November and to earn his first victory over Pereira in a series that dates back to their kickboxing days.
Adesanya and Pereira faced off at Friday’s ceremonial weigh-ins and afterwards, Adesanya was asked what the rematch means to him.
“Everything,” Adesanya said. “Tomorrow, it’s one and done.”
The typically stoic Pereira was also short with his response, taking aim at the dog collar that Adesanya has been wearing in public since media day this past Wednesday.
“I’ve said everything I’ve had to say,” Pereira said. “All I’m going to say to you is tomorrow I’m just going to take his collar off and I’m going to take him out, just like a dog.”
Staredowns for the co-main event were arguably even more heated with Miami favorite Jorge Masvidal set to fight Gilbert Burns in a welterweight contenders’ bout on Saturday. “Gamebred” has been in high spirits all week and he promised that his hometown will have plenty to celebrate after he and Burns throw down.
“Bring your pots and pans in Miami, how we do, we’re going to hit the streets and mob out, all the goons,” Masvidal said. “Light the sky up like 4th of July. I’m gonna knock you out, I’m just telling you right now. Nothing personal, but I’ve got to knock your ass out.”
When it was Burns’ turn to speak, the crowd loudly booed him, a gesture that Burns welcomed with a smile and a warning.
“I love it,” Burns said. “Keep that same energy. I’m going to kill your boy tomorrow, let’s go!”
Watch highlights of the UFC 287 ceremonial weigh-in faceoffs below.