UFC 287 – Pereira vs Adesanya II : the temperature rises before the top clash

MMA – Pereira and Adesanya fight for the world middleweight title

This Saturday, April 8 in Miami, Brazilian champion Alex Pereira defends his belt against Nigeria’s Israel Adesanya in the main event of UFC 287. In the octagon, it is already the second act of a long rivalry. On the eve of this long-awaited fight, the tension is mounting.

The “Miami heat” has definitely taken hold of the event. While Pereira intends to bury his great rival for good, Adesanya has only one thing on his mind: “destroy Pereira”, his bête noire, and reclaim his world title. Yesterday was the last straight line leading to the long-awaited confrontation. Weigh-ins, press conferences, face-offs, “Poatan” and “The last style bender” did not fail to raise the level of tension as the fight approached. Wearing a collar, the Nigerian raised the question of the room and announced the colour. “I am a dog. This is a dog collar. And I’m going to be unleashed soon,” he said. The current under 84 kilo champion replied that he would “put the leash back on him“.

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At the same time, the Brazilian’s weighing in has been the subject of debate. While he had to lose almost 10 kilos to be within the limits, “Izzy” saw Pereira’s way of doing things as a way of cheating: “All right then, I’ll use an intravenous to rehydrate myself. What is the ‘legal loophole limit’ again?” A problem the ex-champion asks for more supervision. And if he’s already electric before the serious stuff starts, the fight will undoubtedly deliver in the cage. This Pereira-Adesanya fight is the fourth of its kind and should be the pinnacle of this explosive rivalry.

Adesanya against his demon

Defeated in the fifth and final round on November 12 in New York, “Izzy” lost his belt and saw his three-year reign come to an end. It was under the punches of Alex Pereira, the Brazilian threat freshly arrived in the UFC, that he fell. Even before their first fight in the American federation, Pereira is the only fighter to have beaten Adesanya in any combat sport. Not once, but twice. The first ? In 2016, a rather controversial victory, by decision. A year later, in Brazil, “Poatan” heavily knocked out the Nigerian. At the end of the day, it’s a one-sided rivalry in the records book, so “Izzy” is playing very big.

When ?

The event takes place this Saturday night. It will be the final fight of an exceptional main card (3am english hour) :

Raul Rosas JR vs Christian Rodriguez

Kevin Holland vs Santiago Ponzinibbio

Robert Font vs Adrian Yanez

Gilbert burns vs Jorge Masvidal

Alex Pereira (c) vs Adesanya

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