Despite Losing To Him Three Times, Israel Adesanya Still A Favorite Against Alex Pereira

Despite Losing To Him Three Times, Israel Adesanya Still A Favorite Against Alex Pereira
Image ©Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports
✍️ Written by
Frank Weber
🗓 Updated
May 19th 2023

UFC 287 is just a few nights away, and the main event is a fight we’re all too familiar with. Israel Adesanya will be facing off against Alex Pereira for the fourth time, still vying for his first win over the now UFC Middleweight champion.

Pereira was able to steal the belt from Adesanya at UFC 281 thanks to a last-round KO finish. Had it not been for the knockout, Pereira would have likely lost–but Pereira proved that it’s not over until it’s over.

Pereira now has defeated Adesanya three times, twice in kickboxing and one in MMA, and two of those wins have come via KO/TKO. Despite his success against the Stylebender, Pereira is the underdog in their upcoming fight.

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Pereira is listed at +115 to defeat Adesanya, and Izzy is currently sitting at -135. The most likely method of victory is for Adesanya to win by decision (+180) followed by Pereira to win via KO/TKO/DQ (+205).

The most unlikely outcome, outside of a draw, is Pereira to win via submission, which is at a whopping +2500.

UFC 287: Adesanya vs Pereira Prediction

Apart from the history and previous bouts, Saturday night’s fight has a lot riding on it. For Pereira, this would be a great chance to prove that he deserves the Middleweight belt. For Adesanya, this would be the golden opportunity to grab his belt back and start his revenge tour against Pereira.

The most important thing to keep in mind about this fight is that although Pereira knocked Adesanya out at UFC 281, Adesanya was pretty handily winning the fight up until that point. It was very reminiscent of the Usman vs Edwards fight, where Usman had Edwards all but beaten up until…well…he didn’t.

When you line up the two’s physical attributes, they matchup up pretty evenly. Both are 6’4, Adesanya has an inch advantage in reach, and only a half an inch advantage in leg reach. So, there’s a reason why these two put on such close fights.

Not only are they physically similar, but they have very similar fighting styles too. Both are very skilled strikers, with Pereira getting the edge in power and Izzy getting the edge in speed and accuracy.

If I’m being honest here, I really want to take Adesanya. He’s the more experienced fighter (in MMA) and has proven he’s one of the best in the world. However, don’t they say that doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different outcomes, is the definition of insanity?

So, wouldn’t it be insane to bet against Pereira? Especially when you’re getting plus money to do so?

So, at the end of the day, I’m riding with Pereira.

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