Daniel Cormier appeared during the UFC 281 media event to discuss the highly-anticipated main event.
UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will defend his title against a familiar foe in Alex Pereira. The two met on two separate occasions under the GLORY Kickboxing banner with Pereira securing wins in both instances, delivering a brutal knockout in the latter of the two meetings.
Discussing the middleweight headliner this Saturday night, Daniel Cormier was asked his thoughts on Israel Adesanya’s recent bouts against fighters Yoel Romero, Robert Whittaker, and Marvin Vettori which were considered to be “boring” performances by fans and many fellow fighters.
“Generally you’re telling Izzy’s opponents as an analyst, I’m like, ‘Make it boring.’ Because when you make it boring, you’re in the fight. It’s that simple. Yoel Romero made it boring and he lost three rounds to two. There’s never been a more clear indicator of how you should fight Israel Adesanya than Robert Whittaker between fight one and fight two. Kelvin Gastelum is the only person that survived when he’s been a bit reckless and then by the end of the fifth round, he was about to get finished.
“You can only do so much against Adesanya. You have to be patient. You have to be okay with the crowd not really enjoying the fight. If you do too much, you end up like Robert [Whittaker] in fight one where he got destroyed in two rounds. Then in fight two, he fought more patient, lost three rounds to two. Some people thought he won. I wasn’t one of them.”
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) November 10, 2022
Daniel Cormier Says Key to Victory for Alex Pereira is Winning in the Quiet Moments
More than five years removed from their last fight at Glory of Heroes 15, much has changed, but fate has once again brought the two warriors together. Sharing his thoughts on the contest, Daniel Cormier believes that Alex Pereira’s best chance to win will be dominating the smaller moments.
“He’s a counter striker himself so it’s going to be who can set the trap. What’s important for Alex is winning the moment that aren’t necessarily big. Those big explosive moments in kickboxing, that’s where Pereira has won. He knocked him out, but if you look over the entirety of those fights, Adesanya had a lot of success. So, if you’re not winning those in-betweens, you’re losing the fight and I think Alex needs to have made some adjustments to win those moments where big things aren’t happening.”
Alex Pereria has remained undefeated inside the Octagon thus far, scoring a brutal flying knee knockout over Andreas Michailidis in his promotional debut. Pereira followed up the win with a unanimous decision victory over Bruno Silva before being given a significant bump in competition, taking on middleweight contender Sean Strickland at UFC 276. Pereira walked right through Strickland, delivering a knockout blow just over the halfway point of round one. Though he only had three fights in the UFC, Alex Pereira was clearly ready for a crack at Israel Adesanya’s middleweight championship.
He’ll get exactly that this Saturday night when the UFC returns to the world-famous Madison Square Garden for UFC 281.