Monday, August 8, 2022

Adesanya’s Coach Slams UFC For ‘Undeserved’ Pereira Push

City Kickboxing founder and head coach Eugene Bareman has branded the UFC‘s push of Alex Pereira as “ridiculous” following the Brazilian’s UFC 276 victory.

After an emphatic debut knockout of Andreas Michailidis and a hard-fought decision victory over Bruno Silva, former Glory middleweight and light heavyweight kickboxing champion Pereira received a not-too-shabby elevation up the 185-pound UFC ladder, entering the Octagon to face the #4-ranked Sean Strickland last weekend.

When “Tarzan” attempted to stand and strike with Pereira, the Brazilian made him pay, snapping the American’s six-fight winning run with his patented left hook.

Having risen towards the top of the rankings in what many had branded a title eliminator, it stands to reason that Pereira will be challenging for Adesanya’s gold next. And while it’ll represent their first bout in MMA, the pair threw down twice during their kickboxing days, with “Poatan” getting the better of “The Last Stylebender” on both occasions.

With their history in mind, many pointed to Pereira’s past successes against Adesanya as the sole reason he was pushed to face Strickland, with the UFC seemingly hoping to capitalize on the pre-laid storyline.

That sentiment is certainly shared by the champion’s coach…

Bareman Brands Pereira Title Shot As “Ridiculous”

During an appearance on Submission Radio, which came after Adesanya successfully defend his title for the fifth time against Jared Cannonier at UFC 276, Eugene Bareman assessed what’s next for his pupil.

When discussing the likely matchup with Pereira, who was sat Octagon-side for Adesanya’s main-event victory, Bareman slammed the UFC for deliberately ascending Pereira to a position he’s yet to earn or deserve.

“They’ve seen a story there and they’ll push this guy [Pereira] to a position that he doesn’t deserve,” Bareman said. “It’s ridiculous that he’s been put in the position to go for the title, off the back of two wins over Israel in a completely different sport after beating just Sean Strickland.” (h/t Sportskeeda MMA)

Bareman went on to suggest that the UFC were afraid of losing the opportunity to set up the combat sports trilogy between Adesanya and Pereira, which he believes would have happened had “Poatan” been made to work his way up the middleweight ladder.

“They need to get Pereira to Israel as fast as they can as he has vulnerabilities. If they wait too long, those vulnerabilities will get exposed,” Bareman concluded.

Prior to UFC 276, Pereira addressed the narrative that his wins over Adesanya brought him to the position he’s in. The Brazilian noted that his two-fight series with the Nigerian-born New Zealander were only a small part of his wider kickboxing achievements.

Do you agree with Eugene Bareman’s take on Alex Pereira’s push?

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