Alex Pereira has beaten Israel Adesanya three times: twice in kickboxing, and now once in MMA to take Adesanya’s middleweight title. Many people believe the Brazilian kickboxer just has Adesanya’s number, and “Poatan” agrees … because he also has a nemesis who happens to have his number as well.

“I’m going to say something that I’ve never told anyone,” Pereira said in a video translated by Crash MMA (via Sportskeeda). “I have 28 fights in amateur. I won 25 of them by knockout. I lost three fights. Three times to the same guy. In amateur, three fights. I don’t understand why. But now I do. The styles don’t match.”

“The guy has stopped fighting,” he added. “If I fought him again today, I think I’d lose again. Even though he’s done fighting, if I fought him, I would lose. If I fought him ten times, I’ll lose. Adesanya needs to get that, the same way Whittaker did. He just doesn’t accept it.”

Kickboxing record keeping isn’t as thorough as it is in MMA, especially when it comes to amateur competition. Pereira’s 25-3 record before turning pro isn’t available to browse anywhere on the internet, so we don’t know the name of this mystery fighter that Pereira just couldn’t beat.

There’s a general understanding in the combat sports world that sometimes you just encounter someone who is your kryptonite. Their skills just counter your own in such a way that beating them will be almost impossible.

For Adesanya against Pereira, it’s Pereira’s ability to maintain his knockout power all the way through a fight, whether it be a kickboxing bout, three round MMA fight, or five round championship bout. Pereira knocked Adesanya out in the last round of their second fight, and did the same in the last round of their MMA fight.

Adesanya has made it clear that he intends to break the cycle of losses to Pereira in their rematch, which should go down sometime in mid-2023. Pereira sounds more than happy to give “The Last Stylebender” a rematch … one last rematch.

“You were a great opponent and I respect you for that. Assume the mistakes along with your team without taking away my merits,” Pereira wrote in an Instagram post. “You will have one more chance. You’re next!”

What do you think, Maniacs? Can Israel Adesanya beat Alex Pereira, or is “Poatan” just a dude that was designed to beat Izzy again and again?