UFC Fight Night
Pereira v Adesanya II
UFC 287: Alex Pereira v Israel Adesanya
These two fighters are set to compete for the fourth time in the world of combat sports, with this being their first encounter since Alex Pereira achieved a surprise victory over Adesanya to claim the Middleweight Championship last year. There is speculation that this could mark the conclusion of one of combat sport’s most captivating storylines, which we will delve into further here at BetKing, but before that, you can head to our Cross Sport Specials page to check out some of the special offers we have.
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“I’m down three, and then this is like in every movie that…your one shot… this is my Eminem moment, my 8 Mile moment, you know? You get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow, this opportunity comes once in a lifetime.”
Israel Adesanya expressed his strong determination to secure a triumphant victory at UFC 287 in Kaseya Center, Florida. In a moment of emotional reflection, Adesanya drew comparisons to the movie “8 Mile,” in which the protagonist, B-Rabbit, a struggling underground rapper played by Hip-Hop legend, Eminem, faced a pivotal moment to prove himself but faltered under pressure. B-Rabbit gets booed off stage and spends the rest of the movie struggling to keep a job, his girlfriend, and, embarrassingly, had to move back in with his mum. He painfully but successfully navigates the obstacles thrown his way and eventually obliterates everyone standing in his way at the end. Adesanya likened his upcoming fight to his own “Eminem moment,” where he has only one chance to succeed and cannot afford to let it slip away. While Adesanya’s journey is vastly different from B-Rabbit’s, he believes that both stories share a common theme of redemption, where failure has shaped his mentality and has him better prepared for this moment.
If Israel Adesanya loses the rematch against Alex Pereira, it would be challenging for the matchmakers to schedule a third fight between the two fierce rivals in the future. The idea of Adesanya working his way back to fight someone against whom he has 4 losses would likely have very little appeal.
Tale of The Tape
|Alex Pereira||Israel Adesanya|
|1.93 m||Height||1.93 m|
|83.9 kg||Weight||83.9 kg|
|200.7 cm||Reach||203.2 cm|
The Alex Pereira v Israel Adesanya Rivalry Timeline
Alex Pereira spent the majority of his professional career in Kickboxing, amassing a record of 33-7. However, he decided to try his hand at MMA when the UFC held an event in São Paulo in 2015. Unfortunately, he lost his debut fight to Quemuel Ottoni during that event. In 2016, Pereira was able to redeem himself by defeating Marcelo Cruz and Marcus Vinicius da Silveira at a São Paulo event before returning to Kickboxing. He did have a single professional boxing match against Marcelo Cruz, which he won by TKO in the third round. After a hiatus, Pereira returned to the UFC in 2020, where he had a brewing rivalry.
Israel Adesanya, known as The Last Stylebender, also began his professional career as a kickboxer, but he made his UFC debut in 2012. With a 24-2 kickboxing record in 2016, Adesanya faced Alex Pereira for the first time at Glory of Heroes 1 in Shenzhen, China. Pereira won the fight by Unanimous Decision. The two fighters faced each other again in a rematch at Glory of Heroes 7 a year later; a fight that had an added significance because both fighters were coming off losses. It lived up to its expectations, but Pereira once again emerged as the victor, this time by knocking down Adesanya in the final round. It was one of only two knockouts that Adesanya has suffered in his career. The loss signaled the end of Adesanya’s kickboxing career, as he shifted his focus towards dominating the UFC.
Adesanya’s ascent to the top of the UFC is well-documented. After his UFC debut in 2012, he went on to win his first 20 fights, with 15 of those victories coming via knockout. Along the way, he claimed the UFC Middleweight Championship. However, his first UFC loss came in 2021 when he moved up to the Light Heavyweight division to challenge Jan Błachowicz for the championship belt. Adesanya subsequently returned to the Middleweight division and successfully defended his title by winning three more fights. Then, in November of last year, he faced a familiar opponent in Alex Pereira at UFC 281.
The Madison Square Garden Fight
During the recent interview, Israel Adesanya acknowledged that he facilitated Alex Pereira’s path to the championship title. However, he clarified that he didn’t make it easy for Pereira to win the title, but only to get there. Adesanya’s statement referred to his decision to accept Pereira’s challenge for the title. Although he didn’t explicitly state it, it was evident that Adesanya was eager to fight Pereira to overcome his kickboxing struggles. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned, and Pereira defeated Adesanya, claiming the middleweight championship belt in his eighth fight and becoming one of the division’s fastest champions in history. Pereira’s dominant performance resulted in a TKO victory and only the second defeat of Adesanya’s UFC career.
Israel Adesanya appeared to have complete control of the fight as the 5th round began, and it seemed likely that he would win by a split or unanimous decision. However, in the final round, Alex Pereira unleashed a barrage of strikes that caught the champion off guard, leading to his third defeat to Pereira, this time in the Octagon where he had reigned for a decade. Pereira’s exceptional performance in the 5th round allowed him to finish the fight with more total strikes (140-119) and significant strikes (91-86), as well as a 100% takedown rate compared to Adesanya’s 25%. As a result, Adesanya was left wondering how he lost the fight so suddenly and unexpectedly.
Paths To Victory
For Alex Pereira, this is straightforward; his powerful punches. He remains the only fighter who has beaten Israel Adesanya via KO, and he’s done so twice. In their last fight, he was down on the judges’ scorecard and his corner told him he had to get a knockout to guarantee a win which he did. His remarkable knack for delivering knockouts against top-level fighters renders him almost invincible.
For Adesanya, he has proven to be the better fighter but getting over the line has been the problem. In his two previous losses to Pereira, he had built up a substantial lead on the scorecards only to succumb to the Brazilian’s potent punches. This must be incredibly frustrating for the Nigerian fighter, but he may have a solution in his grappling expertise. He was successful in wearing down Pereira in their most recent bout, exposing a chink in the Brazilian’s armor. Additionally, Adesanya’s defensive strategy, particularly when he is cornered, has proven to be costly, and a more aggressive approach may be the key to defeating Pereira at last.
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