The reigning UFC middleweight champion is set to face Pereira in the headlining match of UFC 281 on Nov. 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Adesanya shares a fierce rivalry with Pereira and has competed against him in kickboxing on two occasions in the past. Pereira came out on top of both outings and is still the only man to have knocked out ‘Stylebender,’ a feat he achieved with his signature left hook in their second match.
Adesanya is confident he has the tools to beat Pereira with 4oz gloves and is leaving no stone unturned in his preparations. He recently made headlines for a video he posted on his YouTube channel, sharing his training methods for improving reaction time.
Pereira shared a clip of training boxing on a hoverboard & dared Adesanya to try the same
Pereira was not impressed with Adesanya’s video and looked to one-up him with an exceptional challenge, training boxing on a hoverboard. He took to his Instagram account to upload the footage of him performing the exercise along with the caption below.
“Training with a tennis ball fácil is easy!” Pereira wrote. “I want to see him train boxing on top of a hoverboard.”
MMA reporter Alex Behunin shared a clip of Pereira’s training on Twitter.
Pereira is coming off a win over top-ranked contender Sean Strickland in July at UFC 276. The former two-division Glory kickboxing champion earned a first-round finish over Strickland, knocking him out with a vicious left hook. Adesanya’s latest outing featured as the main event on the same card as Pereira’s fight. The Nigerian-Kiwi handily defeated Jared Cannonier in a lopsided unanimous decision victory.
Following the win, Adesanya called out Pereira, who was seated cage-side, in his post-fight octagon interview using a Disney animated movie “Frozen” reference. ‘Stylebender’ does not see much of a threat in Pereira, and believes he’s prepared for their third encounter.
“Threat meter, to be honest, as an MMA fighter… I’ll give him a six, if I’m being honest…Completely honest: threat meter six,” Adesanya told Combat TV ahead of his title defense against Pereira (h/t Sportskeeda). “There’s one thing he’s really good at. It’s that left hook and that’s what he catches many people with. He’s not going to catch me with a flying knee.”
Jared Cannonier Favors Adesanya Over Pereira
Former title challenger Cannonier backed Adesanya to beat Pereira in their nearing grudge match. He believes Pereira is fresh to the sport and lacks the same experience Adesanya has inside the octagon.
“It definitely favors Izzy more,” Cannonier said via MMA Junkie. “He’s been here longer. He’s had all these five-round championship fights with the best in our sport, so it’s definitely different. He definitely has the experience in that regard. He’s altered his kickboxing style more for MMA. Alex still has sort of a kickboxing base, his stance. Not to say that it’s a detriment to him, but it can be exploited as far as MMA goes. I think the advantage lies with Israel in that regard.”