Israel Adesanya lost his UFC middleweight championship back at UFC 281 last year to his long-time rival Alex Pereira. While the two had faced each other twice in the past, their fights were in kickboxing and not MMA. However, Adesanya’s fate wasn’t all that different.
As happened during their kickboxing days, Pereira once again got the upper hand over Israel Adesanya and handed him his first loss in the middleweight division of the UFC.
Since then, Adesanya has been preparing to avenge his loss as the two are set to square off yet again at UFC 287 next month in April.
Israel Adesanya is leaving no stone unturned for his upcoming match against Pereira. As revealed by his coach Eugene Bareman, the 33-year-old has been training with a new partner who imitates Pereira’s style of fighting.
During an interview with Combat TV, Bareman said:
“He’s [Benny Johnson] here for Izzy’s camp and to helo because he gives us a really good look. He’s a world champion kickboxer, thai boxer and very tall, and long and he gives us an excellent look for Izzy so he’s here right until the end of the fight.”
Watch the interview below:
Israel Adesanya believes Alex Pereira will move up to light-heavyweight following UFC 287
As mentioned earlier, Adesanya is set to go up against his long-time rival Alex Pereria in an attempt to reclaim his UFC middleweight championship. With the two set to square off for the fourth time in their careers and the second time in the UFC, a lot has been said about a potential trilogy between the two already.
However, Israel Adesanya does not believe that there will be a trilogy fight even if he ends up winning come April 8th. During a media event in the lead-up to the UFC Perth card in February, ‘Stylebender’ opined that ‘Poatan’ would most likely move up to light-heavyweight soon.
While suggesting that he will be down to fight Alex Pereira again if he sticks around in the middleweight division, Adesanya said:
“I mean if he wants to stick around we can do it [the trilogy fight], but I have a hunch he’s going to move up [to light-heavyweight].”
Catch Adesanya’s comments below:
Follow us on Twitter to get regular sports updates.