Israel Adesanya vs Alex Pereira goes down this weekend inside Madison Square Garden at UFC 281 for the UFC’s Middleweight title. There’s a lot riding for Adesanya in this title fight after having lost twice against Pereira inside the kickboxing ring prior to making his UFC debut. However, times have changed now and the duo will meet again for the third time but this time inside the UFC Octagon.
Needless to say, fans are expecting a slugfest between two of the most fiercest strikers in the division. While Adesanya has already proven his striking prowess in mixed martial arts, Pereira comes inside the cage in the back of his kickboxing accolades and a short three-fight-run in the UFC that has seen him impress fight fans around the world.
Israel Adesanya is widely regarded as one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time. However, it’s safe to say that a loss against Alex Pereira at UFC 281 tarnishes that legacy to a huge extent.
Not just the fact that he will suffer his first loss in the UFC’s middleweight division, but if he loses at UFC 281, it will mark his third straight loss against Alex Pereira. One begs to question whether that will mean Pereira is a better mixed martial artist than Israel Adesanya. Be that as it may, it might be too soon to come to those conclusions.
Fans are clearly expecting a striking battle between the two Glory kickboxing champion. But what if Pereira decides to wrestle with Adesanya?
Israel Adesanya predicts what will happen if Alex Pereira decides to shoot for a takedown at UFC 281
Israel Adesanya has never been truly tested on the ground in recent times. One might pull out Marvin Vettori’s first fight against the Stylebender, but the rematch between the two back at UFC 263 did not really “expose” his grappling skills. On the contrary, it further displayed Adesanya’s incredible takedown defense and his defensive wrestling.
Sharing his thoughts ahead of UFC 281 in a one-on-one with Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports, Adesanya revealed his plan if the fight goes to the ground.
“Surprise takedown. I’m not, it’s not my forte. I don’t get on my knees and try, you know, it’s not my forte. But, if he might try, he might decide he wants to take me down and I welcome that because my grappling is not to be played with. Defensive grappling, I have been forced to defensively grapple since my UFC debut and that’s why I am so good at it.” Adesanya said.
The Middleweight Champion says he is ready if the situation presents itself and should Pereira look for a takedown, “I will take his neck.”
Well, one can’t be too certain about Pereira’s game plan. However, it’s safe to say, having the former light-heavyweight champion Glover Teixeira in your corner will add a sense of intrigue.