Chuck Liddell believes Alex Pereira can finish Israel Adesanya before they make it to the championship rounds.
On Saturday night, Pereira will defend his UFC middleweight championship for the first time since capturing the title with a shocking fifth-round knockout of ‘The Last Stylebender’ in November. This time, the towering Brazilian titleholder is getting a little help from UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell.
In an interview available on Alex Pereira’s YouTube Channel, ‘The Iceman’ shared details on Pereira’s progress as he prepares for the highly anticipated rematch with Israel Adesanya at UFC 287 this weekend. Liddell also divulged some details on his involvement in Pereira’s continued evolution.
“He’s going great. I had a few things I wanted to help him with. Things I could add maybe, see if he liked them for some of the wrestling stuff,” Liddell revealed. “I think he picked it up well. Looking forward to seeing him use one of them, but I don’t know. He’s looking sharp so we’ll get a chance to see that.”
Giving his prediction for Saturday night’s headliner, Liddell believes that Pereira can get the job done before going to the championship rounds.
“I think it’s going to be tougher on Adesanya. How many times has he lost to him now? It’s tough on a guy’s head. I think [Alex] can end it in three,” Liddell predicted.
Chuck Liddell in camp with Alex Pereira ahead of the Izzy rematch.
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Chuck Liddell Says Alex Pereira Has ‘Lightning in His Hands’
Speaking on Alex Pereira’s skill set, Chuck Liddell revealed that he was most impressed by the fact that ‘Poatan’ still had knockout power after more than 20 minutes of hard-hitting action in his first meeting with Adesanya.
“I think what impressed me the most was he was able to do what I do,” Liddell continued. “One thing I always made sure I was able to do, I wanted to be able to fight four or five rounds and if there’s 30 seconds left and I catch you, you’re still going down. A lot of guys get into that fifth round and they need a knockout and they just don’t have anything left in them. ‘Oh, he can still do it.’ No, he can’t. He’s not throwing hard enough, but [Alex] still had lightning in his hands. Still able to go full power at the end of five rounds. He’s got great composure. Great fighter.”
Competing for the better part of two decades, Chuck Liddell is nothing short of a living legend in the sport of mixed martial arts. As a former UFC light heavyweight champion, ‘The Iceman’ competed against some of the biggest names in MMA, including Randy Couture, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Alistair Overeem, Tito Ortiz, Wanderlei Silva, Rashad Evans, Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, and Rich Franklin. He was inducted into the pioneer wing of the UFC Hall of Fame in 2009.