NEW YORK CITY – Alex Pereira made it clear he’s not chasing anyone.
The former Glory two-division champion is not after UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, just his title. Pereira (3-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) holds kickboxing wins over Adesanya having outpointed him in a decision and then knocked him out just a year later in 2017.
But despite holding two victories over the current champion, Pereira’s focus is set on the belt and not the name attached to it.
“I didn’t come here after Adesanya, I came here to be a champion,” Pereira told reporters at Wednesday’s UFC 268 media day. “Who knows, maybe by the time I get there he’s no longer the champion anymore.
“So I’m just taking it step by step. I just got to the organization and I’m just aiming to be a champion here. If I get there and it’s him, fine. If it’s not him, I’ll work with what I have.”
Pereira makes his UFC debut this Saturday at UFC 268 in Madison Square Garden. He takes on Andreas Michailidis to close out the preliminary card of the event.
The Brazilian understands there will be a lot of attention on him given his two kickboxing wins over the champion, but he’s not bothered at all by it.
“It makes no difference for me,” Pereira explained. “I did beat the guy, it’s part of my story. Maybe if I had lost to him it would annoy me a little bit.”
Check out the full media day interview with Pereira in the video above.