Alex Pereira calls Israel Adesanya’s break ‘a waste of talent,’ insists on MMA trilogy after UFC 295 title win

NEW YORK – Alex Pereira believes he’s still got a score to settle with Israel Adesanya, plus he’s also got a favor to return.

The newly crowned UFC light heavyweight champion called for a trilogy bout against Adesanya after he defeated Jiri Prochazka in the main event of UFC 295 on Saturday. Pereira (9-2 MMA, 6-1 UFC) stopped Prochazka (29-4-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) by TKO in the second round of their fight for the vacant title.

Immediately after the win in his post-fight interview, Pereira said, ‘Adesanya, Come to daddy.’ This caught many by surprise as Adesanya is taking a break from MMA, and Jamahal Hill, who was the previous champion at 205 pounds but had to vacate the title due to injury, is expected to be the next challenger.

Pereira was asked bout his thoughts on Hill at the UFC 295 post-event news conference, but he brushed off the question and insisted on the Adesanya trilogy.

“I meant what I said over there,” Pereira told reporters through an interpreter. “I think I owe this to Adesanya. He motivated me first, and the whole thing with him staying out all this time until 2027, I think it’s a waste of talent. I think I can bring him back.”

Pereira wants the Adesanya fight partially because he wants to stay active and doesn’t think Hill will be ready to fight for a while. However, if that fight does go down, it will be just another bout for the Brazilian. There’s nothing personal with Hill, despite Hill beating his mentor, Glover Teixeira, earlier this year.

“Many people asked me, ‘Hey, do you want to avenge Glover against Jiri,’ and I made it very clear I don’t bring that emotion in the octagon because I know what I have to do, and I have everything planned and trained for,” Pereira said. “I care about Glover a lot, but a fight is a fight. I could’ve come out with the loss tonight, but I got to win.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 295.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie