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Sean O’Malley predicts Israel Adesanya will use his wrestling to beat Alex Pereira at UFC 287

Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira
Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Sean O’Malley believes Israel Adesanya will finally beat Alex Pereira this weekend.

In November, Adesanya defended the UFC middleweight title against his nemesis in the main event of UFC 281. Pereira, who owns two wins over Adesanya in kickboxing, was able to have similar success in MMA, stopping “The Last Stylebender” in the fifth round to claim the belt. Now the two are set to run it back in the main event of UFC 287, and O’Malley believes Adesanya doesn’t need all that much to finally get a win over Pereira.

“Let’s get it, Izzy. Finish, baby,” O’Malley said on his TimboSugarShow. “I think he’s going to come out and wrestle. I feel like he’s going to come out, he’s got a couple maybe good takedowns — come out, wrestle, put him on his back, really get him thinking. Maybe [Pereira] won’t be able to march forward as much. Who knows? You never f****** know. Some people have really good little things that they show in the gym that’s never really been done in a fight. They’re really good at it in the gym. They hit it a lot, but they’ve never done it in a fight — and then boom, they pull it out.”

While Adesanya had some success grappling with Pereira in their first MMA fight, he also did well on the feet prior to being finished. Adesanya badly hurt Pereira at the end of the first round, but was unable to follow up before the round ended.

Given how much weight Pereira cuts to make the 185-pound limit, O’Malley thinks Adesanya can do it again, only this time he’ll get the finish.

“How much weight is [Pereira] cutting? Izzy really doesn’t have to land clean too many times if he’s cutting that much weight,” O’Malley said. “If that motherf***** is cutting 20 pounds, 25 pounds fight week, your chin goes, your brain fluid [goes].”

UFC 287 takes place this Saturday at the Kaseya Arena in Miami.

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