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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Ben Davies

Israel Adesanya explains 'weaboo' inspiration for potential Alex Pereira rematch

Israel Adesanya has explained how being a "weaboo" - a fan of Japanese culture - has helped him envisage his revenge on Alex Pereira.

'The Last Stylebender' lost his UFC middleweight title in dramatic fashion after being stopped by bitter rival Pereira in the final round of their clash last month. It is the third time that Adesanya has lost to 'Poatan', having also been beaten twice during their stint in kickboxing, with one by KO.

Despite being the furthest away from his belt in a long time, Adesanya has claimed will likely get a shot at immediate redemption in 2023 before any other challenger is able to stake their claim. And the Nigerian star believes he has already been able to see the next episode of his career playing out by using his love for Japanese culture.

"It's helped me tell my own story, to be the protagonist in my own story," Adesanya said while eating spicy wings on an episode of YouTube series Hot Ones. "Be player one in my game. Like right now, I've already seen the set up for my next storyline, 'the hunter becomes the hunted'. And certain characters in anime as well, I draw inspiration from.

"Like when Gai Sensei, who is Rock Lee’s master, when he opened the eighth gate. I cried actually when that moment happened, it’s just inspiring. People say, 'Oh, you’re 33, oh f***ing hell, you still trying to rap'. Shut up."

It was a heartbreaking loss for Adesanya, who was ahead on the judges' scorecards going into the final round before the stoppage came. Initially, Adesanya blamed the referee for what he believed was an early stoppage, and he is confident that he would still be champion with alternative officials. It will be a difficult pill to swallow after suffering his second career defeat in the UFC and his first at middleweight.

Israel Adesanya could rematch Alex Pereira next year (Zuffa LLC)

Do you think Israel Adesanya can avenge his loss to Alex Pereira in 2023? Let us know in the comments section below.

Although a rematch will need to see Adesanya move on from the demons of defeat, the former champion has admitted he is watched their title clash back around 20 times and picked up on his mistakes. He said on his YouTube channel : "I don't know, about 20 just on Instagram. On the 'gram, I've seen it because you get tagged in videos and s*** and you're just like 'huh', so I watched it, I'm sure just over 20 or so times.

"I don't blame the referee because we were in the moment and I think it was a good stoppage. But I think he could have let it go on a little bit longer because, again, the fight with Kelvin Gastelum [when Adesanya won the interim title in 2018], if he takes the same approach, he should have stopped it in the 10 seconds right after I dropped him. He still let it go on so if you'll give him that kind of courtesy, you can give me a little bit."

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