UFC 287: Pereira vs. Adesanya 2

These two fighters have a prolonged history with one another.

Anthony DiGellonardo, Staff Writer

UFC 287 is tomorrow and it features a middleweight bout between reigning champion Alex “Poaton” Pereira and former champion Israel “The Stylebender” Adesanya for the second time in the UFC. 

I said “in the UFC” because these two fighters have a prolonged history with one another. They have actually fought each other three times with this upcoming one being the fourth. The first two bouts were in kickboxing.

The first fight went the distance with Pereira winning by unanimous decision and the second ending in a knockout by Pereira in the third round. 

Alex Pereira knocking out Israel Adesanya with a left hook in there second fight in kickboxing. SportsBible

Israel Adesanya was born on July 22nd, 1989, in Lagos, Nigeria. At age 10 his family settled in Rotorua, New Zealand.

At the age of 18, he started training in kickboxing. Two years later he decided to pursue a career in kickboxing and went on to amass an amateur record of 32-0 before turning professional fighting in China. At the age of 21, Adesanya began training in mixed martial arts.

For many years Adesanya ran through people in kickboxing before eventually running into Alex Pereira.

After losing twice in a row to Alex Pereira, Adesanya transitioned to MMA by signing a contract with the UFC in December 2017. For the next 5 years Adesanya would go on to have a 12-1 record with the one loss being against Jan Blachowicz in the light heavyweight division. After the loss to Blachowicz Adesanya would return to dominate the middleweight division to defend his championship a couple times before he would inevitably encounter Pereira, his kryptonite.

Alex Pereira was born on July 7th 1987 in Favela, Brazil. In 2009 he began training kickboxing. For the next decade he fought kickboxing and during that time is when he defeated Israel Adesanya twice. In 2017 when Adesanya left for the UFC, Pereira stayed and dominated kickboxing where he eventually became champion. Pereira expressed interest in pursuing MMA.

He decided to fight MMA but not in the UFC quite yet but for another promotion. For the next 3 years Pereira excelled in MMA becoming double champ.

On September 3rd, 2021 Pereira signed with the UFC. Pereira fought three times to prove himself in the UFC, winning all three fights notably beating Sean Strickland. 

Pereira has earned a title shot, giving Adesanya his toughest challenge in the UFC.

On November 12th, 2022 at UFC 281 Alex Pereira faced Israel Adesanya for the UFC Middleweight Championship.

Israel Adesanya Vs. Alex Pereira at UFC 281. (Getty)

Going into the fifth round of the fight all three judges had scored the fight 39-37 in favor of Adesanya, meaning that Pereira would need a knockout in the fifth round to win the fight. That’s exactly what Pereira did. He won the bout via technical knockout in the fifth round, making Alex Pereira the new UFC middleweight champion.

So, for the third time, Alex Pereira has defeated Israel Adesanya.

The rematch for the fourth time, second time in Mixed Martial Arts, between Pereira and Adesanya is scheduled for April 8th, 2023 in Miami, Florida for the UFC Middleweight Championship.

As stated in the first fight, Adesanya was winning the fight until the eventual knockout. Both men are very dangerous so it is very difficult to predict a winner. My prediction is that I believe for the first time Israel Adesanya will defeat Alex Pereira. I believe the fight will go the distance with Adesanya winning by split decision.

As for the rest of the main card my predictions are: Gilbert Burns over Jorge Masvidal, Adrian Yanez over Rob Font, Kevin Holland over Santiago Ponzinibbio, Raul Rosas Jr. over Christian Rodriguez