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Former UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya relentlessly pursued revenge against Alex Pereira in a rivalry that spanned to separate combat sports and is prepared to go to similar lengths to rematch the man who took the title belt from him last year, Sean Strickland. 

Adesanya was surprisingly defeated by Strickland at UFC 293 in September, with the American winning a clear-cut five-round decision in Sydney, Australia, handing ‘Stlyebender’ just the second 185-pound loss of his career. Soon afterwards, Adesanya announced his intention to take a break from the sport — but now refreshed, he says that he has his eye on a do-over against Strickland and he doesn’t believe it will take quite as long as it did with Pereira to level the scores.

“This took me six years to accomplish,” Adesanya told Theo Von’s ‘This Past Weekend‘ podcast of his April 2023 win over Pereira, which ended a streak of three defeats to the Brazilian — two in kickboxing and one in MMA.

“With Strickland, it won’t take me that long. Let me just get through DDP first. Let me handle… I look to the next fight. I look ahead, like a little peek at the future. But I don’t try and focus on it.

“I just know the Strickland fight will come back around,” he added. “I’m in a good place now health-wise, mentally, and I know exactly what happened in that fight that just wasn’t for me. He’s a great fighter. He’s also a good champion. What a reign. I mean, he did what he did. He did what he did. Look, even the way he beat me, it was spectacular. It was his moment.

“That was his night,” Adesanya continued. “He just fought the perfect fight no matter what. I made no excuses. I gave it to him. But again, like I say, I’m a patient motherf*cker. I take my time. I reassess and, yeah, I go for what I want.”