The psychological aspect can be a decisive factor in the rematch between Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya, according to the legendary referee John McCarthy, retrained as a commentator and analyst.
“The guy beat you up,” said “Big” John in the next episode of his podcast. “When it first happened in kickboxing, you say to yourself, ‘I don’t think I lost.’ Okay, but then he comes out and takes you out, and you have to accept that defeat because you have nothing to say. Then you fight in MMA, you do well, and he knocks you out again. And don’t tell me it’s not on your mind because I know it isn’t.”
McCarthy is confident that not only Israel Adesanya drew the appropriate conclusions from the previous fight, which ended with the defeat of the Nigerian by technical knockout in the fifth round.
“This is a wonderful rematch, it should have happened, Izzy deserved it. The dominant champion should get a rematch – I have no doubts about that. Of course, Izzy has a chance to win, but Alex can take it again – I’m sure that Pereira’s coaches sorted out the first fight, corrected the mistakes, and made the appropriate adjustments, so Adesanya will have a tough fight. There’s a lot involved in this rematch – that’s why it’s so exciting and I’m looking forward to it.”
The middleweight title fight between Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya will be the main event of UFC 287 on April 8.