Israel Adesanya is getting ready to defend his middleweight championship. However, the champion is also considering the possibility of a title eliminator this weekend.
Adesanya will attempt to make his sixth championship defense against Jared Cannonier on July 2 at UFC 276. At the same event, Sean Strickland will aim to showcase his abilities against Alex Pereira.
Adesanya provided analysis of this important middleweight matchup.
In response to the question “What’s next?” during the in-person interview, Adesanya said the following:
“It’s a peek. Probably the winner of Sean Strickland or (Alex) Pereira. That’s what I see.”
So the guy who KO'd Adesanya will be on #ContenderSeries
Alex Pereira (2-1 MMA 38-6 Kickboxing) pic.twitter.com/lx295KWFyp
— Tony 🌹 (@BigToneTrader) May 7, 2018
Israel Adesanya spoke on the precise workings of the contest and how they would influence the contest between the two contenders:
“F*ck, if (Sean) Strickland just puts his ego aside and actually does what he needs to do, he might win this fight. But I feel like (Alex) Pereira is just going to be too much for him in the beginning, and he might get dropped and knocked out.”
No matter the outcome, it will be interesting to see the fight between Strickland and Pereira.
Strickland now has a 25-3 overall MMA record (12-3 specifically in the UFC). The former KOTC middleweight champion wants to adorn his trophy case with some UFC medal.
The battle between Strickland and Pereira is highly anticipated by pundits and fans alike because of its parity. The fight pits the No. 4 contender against an unranked 185-pounder.
On the other hand, there is a possibility that Adesanya would face Strickland in a brand-new battle inside the octagon. That might equally be said of Pereira. However, Adesanya and the rising middleweight have a history of conflict.
Adesanya has been defeated by Pereira in a number of kickboxing matches. He has defeated Adesanya twice, once by unanimous decision at Glory of Heroes 1 and once by stoppage at Glory of Heroes 15. Pereira has a 5-1 overall record in professional mixed martial arts, including two consecutive victories for the UFC.