On Saturday, November 12, Adesanya will take to the Octagon inside New York’s prestigious Madison Square Garden for the sixth defense of his 185-pound gold. The latest challenger to his dominant rule is Pereira, a former two-division Glory Kickboxing champion.
During his time in the striking-only sport, “Poatan” recorded a number of notable wins, two of which came over “The Last Stylebender.” More than just victories, though, the Brazilian was able to knock Adesanya out in their 2017 rematch, making him the one and only man to sleep the Nigerian-New Zealander.
He’ll be looking to achieve a similar feat when a third chapter is added to his and Adesanya’s combat sports rivalry in the main event of UFC 281.
Despite the history between the pair, which certainly wasn’t favorable towards the current UFC champ, many have suggested that Adesanya’s experience in mixed martial arts will help him pull one back on Pereira in a new sport.
Holland, however, shares a different sentiment.
Holland Finds It ‘Hard To Believe’ Adesanya Won’t Get Caught
During a recent interview with Helen Yee, formerly ranked middleweight Holland was asked how sees the November 12 pay-per-view headliner playing out.
After making note of Pereira’s past triumphs over Adesanya, “Trailblazer” suggested that history will repeat itself when the pair meet for a third time, making for a “bad night” for the champion.
“I hear what he’s (Adesanya) saying about like, third time’s gonna be different and stuff like that,” Holland said. “It sounds good, but I don’t think that’ll be the case this time. This guy’s knocked you out with big gloves on. Third time with little gloves on, it might be more of the same.
“But Izzy does do a good job of stylin’ and profilin’ when he’s out there, and even in those fights, he was ahead on points. But if someone’s got you twice, it’s hard for me to believe that third time, they’re not gonna catch you… Timing beats speed and precision beats power. This guy just seems to have good timing and good precision… put them together and it’s a bad night for Izzy again.”
In his last outing, Adesanya stifled the power of Jared Cannonier across five rounds with his elusive movement and counterstriking. Whether he can deliver a similar shutout against “Poatan” remains to be seen.
Do you agree with Kevin Holland’s prediction for Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira?
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