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Israel Adesanya ranks Alex Pereira ‘a six’ on the threat meter: ‘There’s one thing he’s really good at’

MMA: JUL 02 UFC 276 Photo by Alejandro Salazar/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Israel Adesanya isn’t too worried about his upcoming title defense.

At UFC 281 on Nov. 12, 2022, in New York City, Adesanya will once again square off with old kickboxing rival, Alex Pereira, but this time it will be under mixed martial arts (MMA) rules. Since beginning his MMA journey in 2015, Pereira has rattled off six wins in a row after an unsuccessful debut. He most recently scored his biggest win yet, knocking out Sean Strickland (watch highlights) the same night that Adesanya last defended his title at UFC 276 in July 2022.

For the reigning champion, this fight will act as his shot at redemption with Pereira having defeated him twice in their previous kickboxing matches. Though he suffered a brutal knockout loss in the rematch, Adesanya believes he’s well equipped to handle what the Brazilian has to offer inside the Octagon.

LIVE! Watch UFC 295 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

TWO TITLES UP FOR GRABS! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) makes its highly anticipated return to Madison Square Garden in New York City on Sat., Nov. 11, 2023, with a re-worked pay-per-view (PPV) main card. In the ESPN+-streamed main event, former 205-pound roost-ruler, Jiri Prochazka, will lock horns with ex-Middleweight kingpin, Alex Pereira, for the promotion’s vacant Light Heavyweight title. In UFC 295’s co-main event, top-ranked Heavyweight contenders, Sergei Pavlovich (No. 2) and Tom Aspinall (No. 4), will collide for the interim strap after division champion, Jon Jones, was injured with a torn pectoral muscle and forced to withdraw (video).

Don’t miss a single second of EPIC face-punching action!

“Threat meter? To be honest, as an MMA fighter, I’ll give him like a six, if I’m being honest,” Adesanya told Combat TV. “There’s one thing he’s really good at, it’s that left hook. That’s what he catches a lot of people with. He’s not gonna catch me with a flying knee. I don’t think he’s tried in the past. I probably done it to him in the past, yeah, I’ve caught him with a flying knee before.

“But left hook, that’s the main thing to look out for,” he concluded. “You gotta take care of that, and I can take care of everything else.”

Like Pereira, Adesanya’s transition to MMA has been seamless, losing just one fight in his 24-fight career. A win at UFC 281 would count as the sixth official Middleweight title defense for “The Last Stylebender.”

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 281 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard (on ESPNEWS/ESPN+) at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 281: “Adesanya vs. Pereira” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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