Israel Adesanya is ready to make good on his fourth career collision with Alex Pereira this weekend at UFC 287.
The Miami showdown acts as the MMA rematch for the pair of sensational strikers, following their previous two kickboxing matches, which saw Pereira’s hand raised each time. Every element of Adesanya vs. Pereira’a third overall installment at UFC 281 this past November had audiences captivated. How much would MMA rules change things? Had any dramatic improvements been made in the time between meetings? For the most part, these questions were answered.
Adesanya found success utilizing his grappling abilities more than he’s often displayed in his career. His exceptional striking was on display as always, too, nearly finishing “Poatan” at the end of round one. Ultimately, outscoring Pereira wasn’t a new or difficult feat achieved for “The Last Stylebender.” The problem was closing the show ... as Adesanya once again was unable to stay perfect, succumbing to a fifth-round TKO stoppage.
“F*** all the bulls***,” Adesanya told DC & RC. “He and I know, f*** the fans, the reporters, all that. He and I know exactly what I can do to him. I know what he can do to me. Each time I’ve fought him, I’m always winning until I’m not. If it was like say he just beat my ass from f****** bell to bell then f***, I’d probably still be this confident, I’d still talk s***, but it’s not been the case. I’m always beating him, I’m always dominating him until he finds that way to win.
“That gives me a challenge. I love challenges. It gives me a challenge to rise to the occasion. Example: this weekend it gives me an opportunity to remind and show people how great I am. I love being in this position because not everybody can be in this position and thrive. I can.”
Pereira became only the second man to best Adesanya in MMA and the first to do so at middleweight with his triumph in New York City. Heading into the MMA rematch and overall part four, Adesanya is in somewhat of a back-against-the-wall position despite the betting odds being slightly in his favor at this time in fight week.
Love him or hate him, the proud Kiwi knows exactly what he needs to do to finally get one back on one of Brazil’s most feared strikers.
“I don’t need them (the fans) behind me,” Adesanya said. “I just need my team behind me, my people behind me. That’s all I need. I can fight this fight in Brazil, it wouldn’t make a difference. All that is energy. Energy I can use to fuel me. Especially when I’m in that cage and I can feel that energy in the arena. That says something.
“Stay true to myself, stay true to my style, and remind people how great I am. We live in this goldfish era where people forget exactly what’s happening in my history because people forget, that’s just what it is. I don’t blame them, it’s human nature. But it takes me and staying true to myself, staying true to my team, and staying true to my values as a man and as a fighter. That’s what’s gonna get the job done this weekend.”
Voices. UFC 287 commentary team set: Joe Rogan returns for Pereira vs. Adesanya 2; Dustin Poirier joins desk
$$$. BKFC president David Feldman on Francis Ngannou: ‘We just feel like he’s asking for unrealistic money’
Strategy. Sean O’Malley predicts Israel Adesanya will use his wrestling to beat Alex Pereira at UFC 287
False. Michael Chiesa dismisses Kevin Lee rematch rumors: ‘Don’t be buying those wolf tickets’
Future. Kayla Harrison hopes she doesn’t have to sit out for a year, but unsure what comes next: ‘Only God knows’
Matchups. Robert Whittaker says he was never offered a fight with Khamzat Chimaev
Timing. Matt Brown: Israel Adesanya can slay his ‘monster in the closet’ in Alex Pereira but ‘this is his legacy on the line’
MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin chats with Justin Gaethje.
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PFL 2023 kickoff.
Heck of a Morning. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck discusses if Jorge Masvidal can spoil Colby Covington’s title shot. Plus, talking UFC merger with WWE
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Stomach still rumbling pic.twitter.com/tNlnyt90DI— KAMARU USMAN (@USMAN84kg) April 4, 2023
It was good.
Fight of the century.— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) April 4, 2023
Same but different pic.twitter.com/MYeQcQFsGJ— Leah McCourt (@leahmccourtmma) April 4, 2023
Been good work with the guys. 4 1/2 weeks left until the fight @rizin_pr #rizin42 thank @tikighosn and @pauloghitmanherrera for the great practice pic.twitter.com/fN74SemA7q— Juan Archuleta (@jarchmma) April 4, 2023
till the next one ☝️ pic.twitter.com/fTm9aSnPUS— Valentina Shevchenko (@BulletValentina) April 5, 2023
I was at the premiere for the Lee Murray doc series, Catching Lightning, this evening. It premieres this weekend on @SHOsports. Four parts. It’s absolutely riveting. Fantastic stuff. Must watch. pic.twitter.com/tSTp3uxwRt— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 5, 2023
Stephen Thompson (17-6-1) vs. Michel Pereira (28-11); UFC 289, June 10
Michael Johnson (22-18) vs. Diego Ferreira (17-5); UFC Fight Night, May 20
George Sotiropoulos (14-7) vs. Josh Togo (12-4); Hex Fight Series 26, May 26
Sotiropoulos used to live in my area. I’m assuming he doesn’t anymore. It’s super bizarre to see him making a return nearly 10 years after his last fight... I’ll never forget his seven-fight undefeated UFC start that was on the cusp of rewarding him with a title shot. Only to be halted by Denis Siver of all people. Crazy times.
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