UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is not worried about the threat his next title challenger Alex ‘Poatan’ Pereira poses despite having lost to the Brazilian striker twice during their professional kickboxing days.
Adesanya is confident that in an MMA fight, Pereira isn’t going to offer much of a challenge for him. Rating his opponent’s threat level on a scale of one to 10, ‘The Last Stylebender’ gave ‘Poatan’ a six.
As far as Adesanya is concerned, Pereira only has one deadly weapon in his skill set which is his left hook. The Brazilian put ‘The Last Stylebender’ to sleep with the same punch several years back.
“Threat meter, to be honest, as an MMA fighter… I’ll give him a six, if I’m being honest…Completely honest; threat meter six. There’s one thing he’s really good at. It’s that left hook and that’s what he catches many people with. He’s not going to catch me with a flying knee.”
Pereira knocked out the middleweight champ in the Stylebender’s last kickboxing match.
However, Adesanya is confident that he won’t fall for it this time around. The reigning 185-pound king believes that taking his opponent’s best weapon away reduces Pereira to nothing more than an ineffective fighter.
“Left hook, that’s the main thing to look forward to… Yeah, if I can take care of that, I can take care of everything else.”
Pereira is a relative newcomer to the sport, with just three fights in the UFC and a total of seven professional MMA bouts. Some critics believe that ‘Poatan’ needs to prove himself before he challenges for the title.
However, Adesanya didn’t seem to have a problem with his former rival getting fast-tracked to the championship scene. Instead, the Nigerian-born New Zealander even revealed that he welcomes the matchup. The UFC middleweight champ told SportsCenter on Wednesday;
“After he beat me in Brazil, I never had any plans of trying to get revenge or anything like that because I don’t hold on to things, I let go of things. But again, I’m telling you, the universe has presented this to me and it’s right there. The perfect alley-oop, and I’m going to slam this b****.”