The UFC 287 this weekend is set to feature an rematch between middleweights Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira.
The former champion, Adesanya, will be seeking to reclaim his title from the Brazilian after a last-round upset loss in their last bout at UFC 281 in November 2022.
‘The Last Stylebender’ has a lot to prove in this rematch, having already suffered two losses to Pereira under the GLORY kickboxing banner in 2016 and 2017.
Adesanya has admitted that this might be his last shot at avenging his losses to ‘Poatan’ and reclaiming his title.
Adesanya has been vocal about his concerns that his opponent might bend some rules going into the event, leading him to demand that the USADA continuously monitor all starsfrom the time they weigh in till the time they enter the octagon.
This is a cryptic message that some analysts speculate may be aimed at Pereira’s potential use of IV.
Adesanya’s fears may be well-founded, as the UFC bans the use of IVs if the quantity administered exceeds 100 milliliters within a 12-hour period.
This regulation is meant to prevent stars from becoming “weight bullies” by rehydrating themselves quickly after a weight cut.
Adesanya’s demand for constant monitoring of all stars shows that he is determined to ensure a level playing field.
Pereira managed to recover from 185lbs on the scale to 219 lbs – well into heavyweight ie two divisions over just in two days after their previous outing.
On the other hand, Alex Pereira, who currently holds the UFC middleweight strap, has been sounding confident going into this rematch. Pereira has advised Adesanya not to rush into a rematch so soon, warning that he has become Adesanya’s kryptonite after defeating him three times.
Pereira’s strategy going into this bout is to be patient, calculating, and tactical. He intends to let Adesanya come to him and use his counter-striking skills to land the knockout punch. Pereira’s confidence and experience are evident, having held the GLORY kickboxing belt and now the UFC middleweight strap.