Following the loss at UFC 280, Israel Adesanya’s coach Eugene Bareman thinks his fighter deserves the next title fight against Alex Pereira.
The future of former UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is unknown at this time. He is in a strange position, one that he has never found himself in before. He recently lost his UFC belt at UFC 280 against Alex Pereira. Normally a champion of Adesanya’s caliber would be immediately granted a rematch but the history between Adesanya and Pereira makes things a bit blurry.
Adesanya and Pereira have fought each other three times in total now. Twice in kickboxing and now once in MMA. Pereira has won all three times. This domination has made for a great storyline so far between these two in the UFC, but Pereira appears to have Adesanya’s number. Perhaps the UFC will choose to go another route for the new champ’s first title defense. Adesanya’s coach Bareman thinks this would be a mistake.
Eugene Bareman does not see any other logical fight to make other than Pereira vs. Adesanya 2
Bareman is the owner and head coach at City Kickboxing where Adesanya and other top UFC fighters train. Coming into the bout with Pereira, he feels that the team was ready and that Adesanya had the perfect game plan for his opponent. In the end, it seemed as though Adesanya was winning the fight until the fifth round when he was knocked out. Due to the nature of his resume and the way the fight played out, Bareman would like to see the UFC grant an immediate rematch.
“Yeah, the rematch for sure. For sure. I don’t know, you can hear there’s all sorts of rumors that go on behind the scenes and on social media and stuff, but at the end of the day, it can only go that way right?” he said on the Submission Radio Podcast. “Like you get a champion that does the sort of service that he’s done for that company, defended that many times, that frequently. You have to give him the rematch… you got to understand we were winning that fight relatively comfortably. With a few adjustments, we can make some changes there and build on a lot of positive things that happened in that fight for us.”
There has been rumored that another man is in the running for the next shot at Pereira. Khamzat Chimaev has been calling for a shot at the new champ. Bareman does not like this idea.
“I still think that’s the biggest fight and you know Khamzat is a rising star but he’s literally done nothing at middleweight he hasn’t established himself. You’re talking about two guys at the top of the food chain in terms of their status in combat sports. Khamzat is a rising star but he’s not in the position of these two guys. This is the biggest fight. Khamzat still has to beat people at middleweight. Unless the politics take over and the business of the sport take over and that’s essentially how we arrived at this fight that you’re talking about.”
Bareman is explaining that he thinks the hype behind Pereira led to his quick rise up the rankings and into a title shot and the same could be made for Chimaev. He still believes that Adesanya is the man for the job and through his years of reliable service to the UFC he should be granted the rematch.