Israel Adesanya Fights Alex Pereira Tonight – Why He Needs To Win
UFC 281 will take place tonight – and it’s especially important for Israel Adesanya to come out with his hand raised.
Also known as “The Last Stylebender,” he even admitted himself that he needs to defeat Alex Pereira.
“If there’s ever a fight, I have to win, it’s this one,” Adesanya said in a recent YouTube post.
“That’s why everything is different this camp. There’s no excuses.”
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The 33-year-old has fought a number of fighters with impressive resumes.
This includes twice with top middleweight contender Robert Whittaker and UFC legend Anderson Silva.
Adesanya’s only loss in the UFC occurred at UFC 259 against Jan Blachowicz – when he moved to challenge for the light-heavyweight belt.
However, this fight against Pereira has a much different feel to it, as the two have history.
Pereira has beaten Adesanya not one but two times in kickboxing.
One occurred via decision in April 2016, while the other was a knockout in March 2017.
Considering the past, it almost feels like a must-win fight for Adesanya for his legacy and to get the bitter taste out of his mouth.
However, even though both are stand-up fighters, mixed martial arts (MMA) is quite different.
“For me, it’s the gloves,” Adesanya said in an appearance on ESPN.
“You can’t guard the same way you guard in kickboxing [versus] MMA. You have to be able to use your brain [and] move out the [way of the] shots. And also, my striking style is a lot different. I can elbow, I can use my knees, I can get in the clinch and stay in the clinch.”
Currently, Adesanya is a -245 favorite, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
In addition to the highly anticipated main event tonight, there will some other great fights on tonight’s pay-per-view including Michael Chandler against Dustin Poirier and a women’s title match between champion Carla Esparza versus challenger Zhang Weili.
The PPV is set to kick off at 10:00 p.m. ET tonight at Madison Square Garden and can be watched on ESPN+ for $74.99.
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