Israel Adesanya will have some demons to conquer in his upcoming title fight.
“The Last Stylebender” has been virtually unmatched in his MMA career with his lone defeat coming at light heavyweight against the then-champion Jan Blachowicz. While Adesanya admits it was a lackluster performance, Blachowicz’s size and ability to keep the middleweight titlist on the mat was a key difference maker that led to a unanimous decision loss.
At UFC 281 on Nov. 12 in Madison Square Garden, Adesanya will be tasked with an arguably superior striker in Alex Pereira. If their previous two kickboxing matches are are any indictation, then that’s all the evidence some need to expect Bruce Buffer will declare “and new.” For former dual-division UFC champion Henry Cejudo, the lack of well-roundedness will ultimately lead to Adesanya’s downfall.
“I think Alex is gonna get it,” Cejudo said on his YouTube channel. “This is why it’s so important that as a mixed martial artist that you become well-rounded. That you’re not just a striker with good defense. Because what happens when you get that other good striker that has better striking than you then you can’t take him down? Cause that’s kinda where we’re at now with Pereira and Adesanya.
“As good as Israel is, Alexander just still has better striking. He knocked him out the last time they fought, he beat him the first time. If this fight goes on its feet, I just gotta go with Pereira.”
Cejudo is one of the better examples in recent memory of a fighter with one clear top skill — his great Olympic-level wrestling — who also went on to adopt some seriously dangerous stand-up abilities. Having done his fair share of coaching since taking a brief retirement in 2020, “Triple C” sees comparisons between Adesanya vs. Pereira and the two Jose Aldo vs. Max Holloway bouts. The latter of which scored third-round TKOs in each time out.
“Jose Aldo was the same thing,” Cejudo said. “Really good on his feet and great defense. But what happens when you get a better striker like Max Holloway? He put him out. He literally put Jose Aldo out. He put him out because there was nothing else that Jose Aldo had that was a trick in the bag for Max Holloway.
“That’s kind of how I see it in this position with Israel Adesanya and Pereira. I got Pereira by knockout. I think he’s got more diversity and things of that nature. Stop me when I lie.”
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MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin chats with Tyron Woodley.
UFC Vegas 61 fight week.
Road to War 3.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
THIS IS TOO GOOD
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) September 26, 2022
Save the turtles.
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Sweep the leg.
Footsweeps are the one true takedown pic.twitter.com/YNx8XKHFvO
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Wholesome Bisping highlight.
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Wow, that’s big.
This announcement is so big @basruttenmma had to get on-top of a Longhorn
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Roses are red,
Trees have leaves, https://t.co/CSpB7NxBvg
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UFC and Fox reunite!
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Baby shark is ready for the shark tank… welcome to shark week
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Just some winners.
Happy fight week!
Zip it, pal.
Haha., your only two win in UFC is Hooker who came out of loss, and Tony who has 5 losses in the row now., please shut up and stay in line https://t.co/DXPrf3A9dX
— Makhachev Islam (@MAKHACHEVMMA) September 26, 2022
What’s in the box?
Don’t dare zoom in it! pic.twitter.com/1uExQRwZ1X
— Paulo Costa ( Borrachinha ) (@BorrachinhaMMA) September 27, 2022
A good old case of MMA foot.
Tomasz Narkun (18-5) vs. Luis Henrique da Silva (18-8); KSW 75, Oct. 14
Jailton Almeida (17-2) vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov (20-7); UFC 280, Oct. 22
Josiane Nunes (9-1) vs. Zarah Fairn (6-4); UFC 283, Jan. 23
Mounir Lazzez (11-2) vs. Gabriel Bonfim (13-0); UFC 283, Jan. 23
I’m thoroughly intrigued by Adesanya vs. Pereira. Really the only factor it’s come down to for me thus far is the fact that Adesanya has a huge MMA experience edge. But it’s hard to tell how much that will matter in the matchup thanks to some points Cejudo highlighted…
Thanks for reading!
Last Week’s Results:
Friday: 92% of 542 total votes answered “No” when asked, “Will you watch tomorrow’s Floyd Mayweather vs. Mikuru Asakura exhibition boxing match?” Mayweather defeated Asakura via second-round TKO in Super RIZIN’s main event.
Thursday: 85% of 592 total votes answered “No” when asked, “Will Nate Diaz sign with Bellator?”
Wednesday: 70% of 786 total votes answered “Middleweight” when asked, “Which weight would you rather see Khamzat Chimaev compete at?”
Tuesday: 68% of 674 total votes answered “Yes” when asked, “Would you watch a Jake Paul vs. Nate Diaz boxing match?”
Monday: 87% of 926 total votes answered “Yes” when asked, “Is Jose Aldo the featherweight GOAT?”
Today’s exit poll: