Well it's here, the big one, UFC281 - Adesanya's 'redemption'...
As a fan, I was soooo excited about Izzy on the way up, his ascent was so cool to watch, with all the fan art, creativity, explosive martial arts and mind boggling agility. Since then, not so much... No doubt he is still one of the best and most imaginative athletes on the roster, but I've sorta forgotten about him (I know that sounds bizarre).
I am disappointed that I can't recall his past 5 fights of the top of head like I can with most of the other UFC champs or athletes that are cut from the same cloth, he's legendary no doubt but he just isn't claiming real estate in the mind and attention of the fans and I don't even think it's his fault.
Could this be the fight that changes everything...? A worthy opponent that's skilled and intimidating enough to drag Adesanya to the depths he needs submerging to in order to break free and show us all how much he's gasping for air.
Alex Pereira is a formidable opponent, the Brazilian has crossed swords with the UFC middleweight champion twice and in both cases emerged victorious. But that was in Kickboxing and this as we all know is the crazy sport of MMA, a sport at which Adesanya has mastered and now sits upon his throne. Make no mistake, this fight won't be the same as the previous ones.
I think perfectly frames the mood of the fans prior to this Saturday's acid test:
Adesanya: Beating a ‘killer’ like Alex Pereira more important than defending UFC title — ‘F*ck the belt’
And remember, it wasn't all plain sailing for Alex Pereira the send time round..
Alex Pereira receives a standing 8-count from referee in the 2nd round of Israel Adesanya rematch
And remember the hype before the Costa fight and the beat down Adesanya delivered?
Personally I feel that Izzy takes Alex Pereira to school and puts him away in the late 2nd or 3rd. I feel that Adesanya's mastery of the Octagon will be too much and Pereira gasses himself out and walking into to something big. But what I do know? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
We also have a rock solid set of fights on the main card, Carla Esparza vs Weili Zhang (personally I want to see Zhang get the title back) as well as Poirier vs Chandler (you just know that’s going to be insane..).
Frankie Edgar is back! As is Dan Hooker (let’s hope he gets one back in the win column). For now though, here's some more useful details about UFC 281.
UFC 281 Main Card
|Israel Adesanya||vs||Alex Pereira||185|
|Carla Esparza||vs||Weili Zhang||115|
|Dustin Poirier||vs||Michael Chandler||155|
|Frankie Edgar||vs||Chris Gutierrez||135|
|Dan Hooker||vs||Claudio Puelles||155|
UFC 281 Prelims
|Renato Moicano||vs||Brad Riddell||155|
|Dominick Reyes||vs||Ryan Spann||205|
|Erin Blanchfield||vs||Molly McCann||125|
|Andre Petroski||vs||Wellington Turman||185|
|Karolina Kowalkiewicz||vs||Silvana Gómez Juárez||115|
|Mike Trizano||vs||Seung Woo Choi||145|
|Ottman Azaitar||vs||Matt Frevola||155|
|Julio Arce||vs||Montel Jackson||135|
|Carlos Ulberg||vs||Nicolae Negumereanu||205|
Global localised start times
Here's the global local time zones for UFC 281 Adesanya vs Pereira (the prelims start times, main card is usually 3 - 4 hours after):
- UK 01:00 😎
- USA (PT > MT > CT > ET) 17:00, 18:00, 19:00, 20:00
- Brazil (03 UTC-3) 22:00
- Russia (MSK UTC+3) 04:00
- Dubai (+04 UTC+4) 05:00
- China (CST UTC+8) 09:00
- Australia (AEDT UTC+11) 12:00
- New Zealand (NZDT UTC+13) 14:00
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Top comments (5)
I think Stylebender still takes it, he's just far more experienced in the cage... beaten all the best even when pushed to his limits...
Alex got a left hook. Just avoid the left hook, job done. And Israel is a specialist at distance management even with forward walkers...
I saw a clip on Reddit recently where he Alex took an standing 8 count in their last bout, Izzy was unloading on him big time, some refs would have stopped it.
Izzy is great at the swarm at the right moment, while remaining super responsive to counters...
If he doesn't get overexcited and just picks at Alex all fight... it's in the bag. He's performed like this in his last several fights.
Yep, I think he’s proved his chin is up to the job too. I just hope it’s exciting, brings his stock up again, incredible athlete..
@slimmanmma I know you’re a big fan mate, how do you see this one going down?