Israel Adesanya reveals PCL injury made him consider withdrawing from UFC 281 clash with Alex Pereira

Former UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has admitted that a persistent posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injury nearly prevented him from competing in last weekend’s UFC 281 main event against Alex Pereira.

Adesanya lost his undisputed middleweight title and suffered his first defeat in the weight class in his mixed martial arts career. He was knocked out in the fifth round of UFC 281’s main event by Sao Paulo striker Pereira in his third Octagon appearance of the year at Madison Square Garden.

Adesanya informed comedian and podcast host Andrew Schulz that he had sustained a PCL injury in the week leading up to his bout with Pereira. He also told that he was dealing with “some medical stuff” before his New York showdown with Pereira.

Adesanya revealed the following on Andrew Schultz’ Flagrant 2 podcast:

“Breaking news – I was gonna pull out of this fight early on. Last time I fought in New York, [UFC] 230, I was gonna pull out of that fight [with Derek Brunson], with three weeks left.”

“But then with – Brunson, with my knee, this knee [slaps right knee], but I hand cortisone injection, I took a whole five days off, nothing, no nothing, five days off. And then it just got better. …”

He continued, “This time, from the last fight with (Jared) Cannonier, I hurt my PCL, and that’s the thing that keeps your knee from going backwards. Early in camp, I had some problems, so there was – how many weeks? Maybe like three weeks, I just did boxing – boxing and grappling, no kicking. …”

“I was gonna pull out early on, but I was like, ‘Nah, I wanna get this done.’ I’m a prideful man. I’ll be damned if people say I’m scared of this guy (Alex Pereira), because I know I’m not.”