clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Morning Report: Michael Bisping believes Alex Pereira ‘might be the man’ to beat Israel Adesanya

MMA: JUL 02 UFC 276
Alex Pereira at UFC 276
Photo by Alejandro Salazar/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Michael Bisping believes Alex Pereira might be the man to unseat Israel Adesanya.

This past weekend, both Adesanya and Pereira fought on the main card of UFC 276, with different yet similar results. In the featured bout of the main card, Pereira turned in his best UFC performance, brutally knocking out Sean Strickland in the first round. In the main event, Adesanya was also dominant, albeit less spectacularly, winning a comfortable unanimous decision over Jared Cannonier. Given their history with one another, the two men are now once again on a collision course, and despite Adesanya’s exceptional resume in the octagon, Bisping believes Pereira could be destined to become the new champion.

“What [Adesanya] did to Paulo Costa was f****** incredible,” Bisping said on his Believe You Me podcast. “Yoel Romero, Robert Whittaker twice, the list goes on. Anderson Silva, Kelvin Gastelum, taking out all the top guys. Derek Brunson, Jared Cannonier. There’s literally no one else. That’s why Pereira’s here, a breath of fresh air, a guy that I think, I don’t know, I think he might be the man to do it. I’m not saying that. Izzy’s a better kickboxer than Pereira, but Pereira seems a little nastier, he seems to have a little bit more power. He’s a little sloppier as well, but I understand why he’s going to get the next title shot.”

Pereira would certainly argue the point about Adesanya being better than him. Aside from holding a pair of wins over Adesanya in kickboxing, Pereira also won both the middleweight and light heavyweight Glory championships, something Adesanya never did. But while Pereira may be the more accomplished kickboxer, Adesanya is undoubtedly the more accomplished MMA fighter. “The Last Stylebender” has more championship fights inside the octagon than Pereira has had in his entire MMA career, which appears to be a major factor holding Bisping back from outright picking Pereira to become the new champion.

“Without a doubt [Pereira has the best chance to do it],” Bisping said. “When you see Izzy, the way he beats everybody, every time afterwards I’m like, ‘I’ll never underestimate him again.’ Because I thought Jared Cannonier was gonna — and then I always do! I don’t know why. And when I look at this one early on I’m like, ‘Oh, Pereira’s going to be the guy.’ But again, that is just so disrespectful to the body of work that [Adesanya]’s had. It’s not easy to stay on top like that, on your worst night... That’s what you’ve got to do as a champion, on your worst night, still become the champion. So every time you defended it against the No. 1 contender and Izzy’s done that six or seven times now.”

Bisping has plenty of time to think about this fight and make a more definitive pick. Following UFC 276, Adesanya did not give a timeline on when he would like to return. The UFC is still in need of main events for UFC 279 and UFC 280 in September and October, but it remains to be seen whether that would be too quick a turnaround for Adesanya or Pereira.


Out. Darren Till injured, out of UFC London, Chris Curtis steps in vs. Jack Hermansson.

Poke. Pedro Munhoz still seeing ‘blurry-eyed,’ rips Sean O’Malley for handling of UFC 276 aftermath: ‘They’re gangsters on computers’

Unexpected. Rafael Fiziev scoffs at Conor McGregor ‘fantasy movie’ suggestion for modifying axe-kick; McGregor responds.

$$$. Deiveson Figueiredo seeks better pay with new manager, calls previous UFC purse ‘totally embarrassing’.

Boxing. Jake Paul claims Tommy Fury ‘went into hiding,’ will have new opponent for next month.


The MMA Hour.

Top championship performances in UFC history.

Top 10 UFC women’s bantamweight KOs.

The best up and coming fighters in Bellator.

Jermaine Dupri picking walkout music for fighters is one of the better ideas the PFL has ever had.


No Bets Barred. The case for the underdog to win the battle of Rafaels at UFC Vegas 58.


Israel Adesanya’s got beef because Star-Lord speaks the truth.

Jon Jones Tweeting.

Islam Makhachev.

Paulo Costa.

Bryce Mitchell.

Umar Nurmagomedov.

Jake Paul.


Chris Curtis (29-8) vs. Jack Hermansson (22-7); UFC London, July 23.


Thanks for reading! See y’all tomorrow.

If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting