Israel Adesanya: Alex Pereira inspired me to tap back into my ancestry

Former UFC Middleweight Champion Alex Pereira paid tribute to his roots by bringing his new belt to his tribe, the Pataxo, in Northeast Brazil. Pereira, also known as ‘Poatan,’ donned the tribe’s traditional clothing to celebrate his victory, complete with full-body painting.

As an indigenous Brazilian, Alex Pereira has always had a deep connection to his Pataxo tribe. He has portrayed his tribe on several occasions, firing imaginary arrows during his walkout session and painting his face red and wearing his tribe’s headdress during the ceremonial weigh-in session for UFC 281.

Recently, Pereira returned to his tribe in Bahia, Northeast Brazil, to celebrate his victory. The Pataxo tribe comprises around 11,800 individuals, and Pereira’s triumph was an occasion for the whole community to come together. The new Middleweight Champion celebrated his success by wearing his tribe’s traditional costume and full-body painting, immersing himself in the tribe’s rich culture.

But his influence was far reaching. Israel Adesanya even credited it for influencing him during and before UFC 287.

Adesanya is of Nigerian descent but has lived in New Zealand for years. Previously Adesanya even represented China at one point during his kickboxing career.

For this latest appearance in the cage, Adesanya opted to forgo the New Zealand flag and opt into his country of origin.

Adesanya told ESPN: “Even inspired me to tap back into my ancestry. I’ve channeled my ancestors for this fight. I went deep meditation, touching my pineal gland, speaking to my ancestors because he is very in touch with his culture. So I had to go deep and get in touch with my culture as well. So I take you know, I take and learn from my opponents as well.”

The pineal gland is a small endocrine gland located in the brain. It produces and secretes the hormone melatonin, which helps regulate sleep and wake cycles.

The pineal gland has also been associated with spiritual experiences and is sometimes referred to as the “third eye” in some spiritual traditions. It is a fascinating part of the human body and has been the subject of much research and speculation.