Wanting to exact revenge, Israel Adesanya will have a rematch with Alex Pereira for the middleweight title bout this coming April 8 in the UFC 287 at a soon-to-be-announced venue.
In their last three meetings, Adesanya lost. He was first defeated in April 2016 via a unanimous decision, which he did not agree with.
The Last Stylebender, in their second bout back in March 2017, went all-out and was on a clear path to victory. But a left hook to the chin from Pereira sent Adesanya to the canvass—out cold.
They met again on November 12, 2022, during the UFC 281, and the result remained the same—with Adesanya getting TKO’d while being ahead in the judges’ scorecard.
Losing to the same fighter three times, Adesanya wants to avenge those defeats, especially now that his opponent is fully committed to the mixed martial arts world.
Ahead of the UFC 287 fight, Adesanya warned his opponent that he would be “settling the score.” He used Billy the Puppet from the movie ‘Saw’ to send his message and, at the same time, hype the crowd.
The Last Stylebender has been brawling inside the octagon 25 times, winning 23 and losing twice. Adesanya is a natural striker with a striking accuracy of 50 percent, landing 3.93 significant strikes per minute.
On the other hand, Po Atan has fought eight times and won seven times. He only suffered one defeat from Artem Vakhitov back in September 2021.
Unlike his upcoming opponent, the current UFC Middleweight champion, who is also a striker, has a 59 percent striking accuracy, landing 5.23 strikes per minute. However, Adesanya is better in defense, having 58 percent compared to Pereira’s 53 percent.
Both fighters stand at 6’4″, but Adesanya has further reach than the champion.
But like most UFC fighters believe, Izzy is at a disadvantage when it comes to punching power and speed. In their last two meetings, Adesanya tasted the gloves of Pereira with no clear comeback, resulting in knockouts.
They suggest that The Last Stylebender invests in grappling and wrestling. Dan Hardy even said it would be a “smart” move to do, although based on Po Atan’s stats, his takedown defense is at 73 percent.
Nevertheless, Hardy stressed it would be beneficial for Adesanya to have another skill set so he doesn’t feel “trapped.”
“I think investing in grappling and wrestling is always gonna be a smart for Izzy to do. Just so he doesn’t feel trapped. I think you know.”
In their previous fight, Adesanya wanted the match to be a “horror movie,” promising that he would be Pereira’s worst nightmare.
“I want to be the first person he sees when he wakes up. I want to make sure I’m right in his line of sight, so he’s looking at me. Even though the way you defend is different, the way you attack is different. It’s kinda stupid sometimes. No disrespect to kickboxing,” Adesanya told TMZ Sports.
However, he was knocked down in the fifth round, handing Pereira the middleweight belt after five successful title defenses.
Can Adesanya finally become the nightmare of Pereira, or will he end up losing for the fourth time in this much-anticipated rematch?
One thing is for sure: OKBET players are excited to see these two legendary fighters go head-to-head again.