UFC Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya drew plenty of criticism for his in cage celebration at UFC 287, after he knocked out Alex Pereira.
Adesanya’s actions towards Pereira’s son were deemed inappropriate by many fans and critics alike. However, Adesanya recently spoke about the incident and stated that he does not regret his actions.
Adesanya’s Celebration: Did He Cross the Line?
Adesanya taunted Pereira’s son, who was crying at the time. Many fans and commentators felt that Adesanya’s actions were disrespectful and crossed a line, given the young age of Pereira’s son. However, Adesanya defended himself, claiming that he was trying to teach Pereira’s son a lesson in respect and manners on his channel.
“I was just like, ‘Where is he? I’m going to find him.’ And I see his kid then his sister, I think, was holding them. She was holding them because they were crying. So I was just like, ‘bang.’ ‘He’s only a kid…’ I’m like, ‘And the f**k what?’ If I had a son and he came to the cage after 287 and then start to do that next to Pereira, I’d be like, ‘What the f**k are you doing? Come here. Apologize. Apologize to that man.'”
Adesanya’s argument is that Pereira failed to discipline his son properly, leading to the child’s inappropriate behavior towards Adesanya in the past.
However Adesanya failed to acknowledge that Pereira did in fact stop his son from repeating the gesture at UFC 281, when Pereira became the middleweight champ. Pereira maintains that he is a aware and responsible father who would not allow his son to engage in such behavior.
Adesanya believes that by taunting the young boy, he was giving him a life lesson that he could carry with him forever. Adesanya has also stated that he would have done the same thing if it were his own son acting inappropriately towards an opponent.
Pereira has also expressed a desire to move on from his rivalry with Adesanya and even train with him in the future initially -but then went and tweeted a taunt overnight.