UFC Fight Night
UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira, Whose title will it be?
The UFC returns to Madison Square Garden this weekend for its annual appearance at the Big Apple. For UFC 281 there are a total of 14 fights on the cards, some early prelims as usual and a couple of championship belts are up for grabs.
In the strawweight championship, Carla Esparza will make her title defence against the hard-hitting contender Weili Zhang, after she captured the title from Rose Namajunas back in May. Zhang is the favourite to win @ 1.27, while Esparza’s odds are @ 3.70
Earlier that night, Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler will go toe to toe in a three-round fight that promises fireworks. Chandler in his UFC run has been known to walk head first into the fire, not afraid to bring the heat.
What will be keeping people up till the early hours of the morning in Nigeria will be the UFC middleweight title bout between Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya and Alex Pereira. If you wonder Alex who? You aren’t the only one.
Even though aged 35, Alex Pereira is only 3-0 into his fledgling UFC career after joining the promotion a little over a year ago. What makes this title bout the mouthwatering firefight it should be is the history between Pereira and Adesanya.
Pereira has the enviable record of being the only one to ever knockout Adesanya and has two wins over Adesanya from their days in the Glorykickboxing promotion, those two kickboxing wins have dominated the buildup to the fight between the two middleweights.
In their first fight in April 2016, Adesanya lost to Pereira by decision then lost the March 2017 rematch in Brazil, when Pereira knocked him out in the third round of a fight he had seemed in control of, especially because Pereira was given a standing 8-count in the second round.
That was over 5 years ago, since then Adesanya has made the move to the MMA where he has a 23-1, 15 KOs record and presently has a 12-1 record in the UFC, with five title defenses.
Therefore, what is on the line for Adesanya as he makes his sixth middleweight title defence, is a chance to get revenge for the only loss by knockout in his career.
The Nigerian-New Zealander should be confident of doing so, Adesanya’s last fight was his unanimous decision victory against Jared Cannonier in July.
Adesanya vs Pereira Tale of the Tape
|Israel Adesanya||Alex Pereira|
|185 lbs||Weight||185 lbs|
|80 inches||Reach||79 inches|
|23-1 (15 KOs)||Record||6-1 (5 KOs)|
Adesanya is arguably the best technical striker in the UFC and uses his length, quickness, kicking ability, and deceptive power to devastating effect.
Outlining how dominant Adesanya has been in the UFC, he has never been the underdog in any of the fights he has been in and this fight is his shortest line since his fight against Paulo Costa
Pereira made his UFC debut in November 2021, a couple of months after leaving kickboxing. In that time he is 3-0, with his most recent victory coming via a spectacular knockout of Sean Strickland.
Pereira is dangerous at all times because of his incredibly powerful left hook, he might be the heaviest puncher the MMA has ever seen in the Middleweight division and effortlessly generates enormous power every time he strikes.
What gives Adesanya the advantage is the experience he has had fighting the best MMA fighters over the years. While Pereira is an excellent fighter, he just hasn’t had as much time in the cage and is yet to fight the same level of competition Adesanya has beaten.
What further gives The Last Stylebender the edge are the four-ounce gloves used in MMA. Adesanya’s fighting style dictates that he tries to evade strikes rather than blocking with his mitts. He then counters and controls distance with kicks.
While this will be no cakewalk for Adesanya, he is the more refined fighter and will take advantage of the MMA experience he has garnered over the years to get revenge against a fighter that is touted to be his biggest nemesis
- Adesanya to win @ 1.50
- Adesanya to win by KO,TKO or submission @ 3.92
- Fight to go the distance @ 1.65
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