Donegi Abena Talks Alex Pereira: ‘It’s Pure Business’

The GLORY Kickboxing light heavyweight champion Donegi Abena reflected on a prior loss against former two-division champion Alex Pereira.

Donegi Abena and Alex Pereira in Kickboxing

Alex Pereira was once a two-division GLORY Kickboxing champion, holding titles in the middleweight and light heavyweight division. During that time, ‘Poatan’ was able to defeat fighters such as Ertugrul Bayrak, Artem Vakhitov, Yousri Belgaroui, and a young Donegi Abena.

The Brazilian-born striker vacated his title in 2021 to try his hand in the UFC. There, he found tremendous success and became the middleweight world champion with a knockout win over Israel Adesanya.


The Dutch-Surinamese striker Donegi Abena was only 21 years old in 2019, when he fought Pereira for the light heavyweight throne. Abena had the opportunity to make history as the youngest champion in GLORY’s history. But due to a knockout loss, his dreams of kickboxing gold would have to be put on hold for a few years.

Abena changed gyms and aged up into a fighter worthy of kickboxing gold. In 2023, he was able to stop the reigning champion Sergej Maslobojev to earn the GLORY light heavyweight title. The 25-year-old titleholder was set to aim for his first title defense at GLORY: Collision 5 on Jun. 17. However, an unexpected illness forced him to withdraw from the fight.

Donegi Abena on Alex Pereira

When Abena captured the GLORY throne earlier in 2023, Pereira was there to put the belt on him. The two even snapped a photo together afterward. In an interview with Tim Wheaton, Donegi Abena reflected on their fight and the Brazilian athlete putting the belt on him.

Abena explained how he feels towards Pereira:

Nothing. I’m cold. I’m stoic. I look for nothing from nobody. It’s pure business. And when he fought me I was 21 years of age. I fought with a broken hand. Right now, I’m 25 and, I’m still not in my prime. I think because of his age, he is going to pass his prime right now. I think he had his prime for like five years. Let’s see what he’s doing in the future.