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HomeSportIsrael Adesanya looks for better outcome vs Alex Pereira in UFC cage

Israel Adesanya looks for better outcome vs Alex Pereira in UFC cage


Israel Adesanya interrupted a query concerning the feeling of getting knocked out by Alex Pereira inside a cage by making a pivotal clarification:

“Ring. Ring.”

That’s proper, Adesanya, the UFC 185-pound champion, has by no means been KO’d by Pereira contained in the octagon and the fighter higher often called “The Final Stylebender” has solely misplaced as soon as in his MMA profession. However it’s two losses to the Brazilian knockout artist Pereira of their previous kickboxing days that Adesanya merely can’t shake — and has raised the specter that the middleweight challenger can win once more, solely this time for the championship within the UFC 281 foremost occasion.

The lopsided historical past between the 2 fighters is one purpose UFC fast-tracked Pereira to a title match after solely three fights for the group since his November 2021 debut.

Adesanya, the once-electric, now-methodical fighter, knew this present day would come as soon as Pereira signed — and mentioned it’s his time to put in writing the ultimate chapter of their multisport trilogy.

“I’m getting the vibes. I can simply see it,” Adesanya mentioned. “That is the one I’ve to win.”

Pereira (6-1) get his first crack at UFC gold when he fights Adesanya (23-1) on Saturday night time in UFC’s return to Madison Sq. Backyard. UFC has largely eschewed the Northeast because the pandemic however returns to MSG for the sixth time since New York in 2016 turned the fiftieth state to legalize MMA.

Adesanya, the Nigeria-born, New Zealand-raised fighter, earned efficiency of the night time honors when he scored a TKO win over Derek Brunson 4 years in the past on the Backyard. His dominant destruction of the veteran was thought of Adesanya’s breakout efficiency.

And in some ways it was — he received the interim middleweight belt two fights later, unified the division with an October 2019 win over Robert Whittaker and hasn’t misplaced a 185-pound battle but over that span, together with two this yr.

The Adesanya who received over the New York crowd with a knee to the face after which a giant left to complete off Brunson — and celebrated by dancing in the midst of the octagon — has largely became a stylistically disagreeable performer. The elbows and head kicks that littered his technique of victories early in his profession have been changed by a string of unanimous selections.

The dullness has seeped into his quotes.

“The battle’s already offered,” he mentioned. “I don’t must say a lot.”

Sure, a win is a win, and Adesanya has by no means been knocked down over his UFC profession.

Adesanya, although, has but to persistently flip within the highlight-reel efforts that might assist him make the mainstream leap in a lot the way in which Conor McGregor did in his prime, or, on the very least join with a larger proportion of MMA followers like Anderson Silva or Jon Jones did on the prime of their video games.

Adesanya insists he’s not trying to find that type of outdoors fame.

“I by no means chased the belt, I by no means chased something,” he mentioned. “All I ever chased was our bodies. Put them in entrance of me and I take them out. I don’t chase something. All of them chase me.”

Pereira did precisely that as he adopted him to UFC following a wildly profitable kickboxing profession that included an April 2016 unanimous choice win over Adesanya and he used a left hook within the third spherical of a KO victory in March 2017 in Brazil.

“Everyone knows what occurred within the final two fights,” Pereira mentioned via an interpreter. “I forgot about them. I hope (he) forgot, as properly. I’m going to battle (him) prefer it was first time I used to be preventing in my life.”

Pereira bent down and appeared to trash speak Adesanya after the kickboxing KO and gestured at his fallen foe as he celebrated within the ring. Pereira received his kickboxing fights inside darkened arenas and in entrance of a smattering of followers.

Pereira will attempt to make it 3-0 inside one other packed home at MSG.

“Hey man, he’s acquired bragging rights, so he can speak all of the (smack) he desires,” Adesanya mentioned.

The oddsmakers appears to care little about previous historical past and made Adesanya the betting favourite, per FanDuel Sportsbook.

“Why am I the favourite on this? I by no means test them, however I simply occurred to see one thing on Instagram,” he mentioned. “I really feel like we must always change that or one thing. How are you going to change that? Faux an harm? However I feel it is best to guess on him for this battle. See what occurs.”

Adesanya and Pereira headline a card that additionally sees Carla Esparza (20-6) defend her 115-pound belt towards former champion Zhang Weili (22-3) and Dustin Poirier takes on Michael Chandler in a light-weight bout. Frankie Edgar, who rose to fame in 2010 with back-to-back light-weight victories towards UFC Corridor of Famer B.J. Penn, introduced his retirement and can battle for the final time towards Chris Gutierrez.

Edgar, a Toms River, New Jersey native, made his debut in 2005 when combined martial arts playing cards have been nonetheless unlawful in New York preventing within the Bronx for the previous Underground Fight League. Edgar mentioned he made $160 for that battle (he made $10 off each ticket offered) and joked he in all probability used that money as beer cash. Because the wins, championships, and, sure, paydays exploded, the spoils have largely stayed the identical.

His doubtless remaining post-fight meal?

“Cheeseburgers,” he mentioned.





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