Morning Report: Israel Adesanya says he did Alex Pereira’s son ‘a favor’ with UFC 287 post-fight theatrics


If Israel Adesanya shows up to his next fight with a “No Ragrets” tattoo, you’ll know why.

By now, the saga between the two-time middleweight champion and Alex Pereira’s son may as well have its own chapter in MMA lore. Following his highlight-reel knockout of Pereira at UFC 287, Adesanya mocked Pereira’s progeny — who was seated cageside — by mimicking the celebration the younger Pereira directed at “The Last Stylebender” following Adesanya’s knockout loss to “Poatan” in their second kickboxing match back in 2017.

The reaction to Adesanya’s actions was swift and polarizing. Some people in the MMA community hated it. Some (like the original bad guy Chael Sonnen) loved it.

Adesanya himself admitted his decision was petty in the aftermath of his win. But you know what? Even with the benefit of some distance, he doesn’t regret it for a second.

“I knew where everyone was at. I knew where [my family] were at, I knew where his family was, I knew where everyone was at,” Adesanya said on his YouTube channel. “So as I was walking around, I was like, ‘Where is [Pereira’s son]? I’m going to find him.’ And I see his kid, and then his sister I think was holding them, shielding them because they were crying.

“Bang. And again, I don’t react — I respond. ‘He’s only a kid.’ And I’m like, and the f*** what? If I had a son and he came to the cage after 287 and then started to do that next to Pereira, I’d be like, ‘What the f*** are you doing? Hey, come here. Apologize. Apologize to that man.’

“Bro, the guy knocked me out in his home country and it’s my first-ever time being put out cold, and then you see your kid doing that and you don’t have the discipline to scold him?” Adesanya continued. “And then again before [UFC] 281, you’re in your car and you’re like, ‘Oh, look what my son did. … I was like, what the f***? You’re making fun of one of the moments of my life that I’m not so proud of. I’m like, ‘Bet. If you’re not going to teach your kids manners and respect, I will.’ So I did him a favor. I did that kid a favor.

“Now he has a life lesson that he can hold onto forever and just remember that. He can remember that. But yeah, I don’t regret it. I’m glad I did it. F*** them kids.”

Michael Jordan has never been prouder.

And with that daily dose of pettiness out of the way, go ahead and lean back in that chair of yours, pour yourself that morning cup of coffee and let’s dive into some headlines.

Should’ve happened originally anyway. Amanda Nunes is no longer facing Julianna Peña at UFC 289 after Peña suffered broken ribs. Next up? Wait … is that Irene Aldana’s music?!

Preview time. Is a Cejudo win what’s best for business? Can Muhammad or Burns swoop into a title shot with a win? Your MMA Fighting pals set the table for UFC 288 fight week.

This is why we can’t have nice things. The best fight outside of UFC 288’s top two is ruined. Movsar Evloev vs. Bryce Mitchell was too beautiful for this world.

Must-read. My man Jed Meshew put it the gotdang work and poured over 30 years of history to rank the all-time best UFC rookie classes. For real, do yourself a favor and check this one out. I cannot recommend it enough.

#HeDidNothingWrong. The saga of Nate Diaz’s street brawl with Fauxgan Paul continues. Stockton’s favorite son is set for a preliminary court hearing on June 27 in New Orleans.

Big plans. Aljamain Sterling’s time at bantamweight may soon be coming to an end. The champ tells our Damon Martin that he’s likely done with 135 pounds after two more fights.

  • Heck Lee of a Morning: The King in the North Alexander K. Lee fills in for our pal Mike Heck one final time to mull over which other MMA stars would be an ideal fit for bare-knuckle boxing, plus UFC 288 thoughts, media row randos, and more.

Did not expect this innocuous Sterling-Cejudo run-in to get the Zapruder film treatment for the past 48 hours, but that’s how you know it’s a pay-per-view week.

Wait, wait, wait — you’re telling me biting ears isn’t the best tactic for finishing rear-naked chokes?? That’s crazy!!! Someone should probably tell Thiago Oliveira

(Absurdity starting around the 4:15:12 mark.)

UFC pay-per-view or not, Demetrious Johnson vs. Adriano Moraes 3 is either the best or second-best fight of the weekend. Treasure the time we have left with DJ before he’s gone.

Give credit where credit is due: Even on fight week, Henry Cejudo is a content machine.

These two are going to be doing this until the end of time.

Papa Chael’s coming for all our jobs.

Corey Anderson woke up and chose violence.

Never too old for some reinvention.

Skinny Paul Craig???

I mean, that’s a low blow.

Heartbreaking: The Worst Person You Know Just Made A Great Point.

  • Julianna Peña out, Irene Aldana in against Amanda Nunes at UFC 299 on June 10
  • Bryce Mitchell out, Diego Lopes in against Movsar Evloev at UFC 288 on Saturday
  • Kai Kara-France vs. Amir Albazi promoted to main event at UFC Vegas 74 on June 3
  • Neil Magny vs. Phil Rowe for UFC Jacksonville on June 24

Do not despair! It’s back to your regularly scheduled programming with the esteemed Drake Riggs tomorrow, but I couldn’t resist filling in for a spot start once he called out sick. It’s always a treat returning to all my Morning Report faithful. Love y’all forever, especially the OGs. Go out and crush it today.


With the loss of Bryce Mitchell, what’s your new rating for UFC 288’s pay-per-view lineup?

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