Henry Cejudo believes Israel Adesanya has all the tools to defeat Alex Pereira at UFC 287.
Adesanya and Pereira fought back at UFC 281 as ‘The Last Stylebender’ was defending his middleweight title. It was the third time they were fighting as the two fought twice in kickboxing with Pereira winning both. This time around, the fight was going Adesanya’s way but in the fifth round, Pereira scored a comeback TKO victory to become the new champ.
The two are now set to rematch at UFC 287 on Saturday in an intriguing matchup. Adesanya is the betting favorite and Henry Cejudo thinks there are ways he can finally beat Pereira. But, beating the Brazilian is easier said than done.
‘Don’t Turn Into A Slugfest With This Guy’
“Do I believe Israel could win? I do believe he could win, I do believe if he fights smart. There are a couple ways and a couple errors that Israel could do to eventually win that fight. One’s going to be his point fighting,” Cejudo said on his YouTube channel. “Don’t turn into a slugfest with this guy, don’t throw into a slugfest with a guy that is the Francis Ngannou of your weight class. A guy that has a crazy right and left hook and that knows how to kick. If I was your coach there are two options. I point fight and I win the distance game, I change my stance, I’m not so out there with the front leg but I point fight. I use my speed because you are faster than this man.
“Or, two, I bring in a surprise of the arsenal of wrestling because you did have six minutes and 32 seconds of control time the first time you guys fought in mixed martial arts,” Cejudo continued. “I mean, there are keys to victory for Israel but this is where the IQ comes in. This is where the competitor meets the fighter. This is where the fighter needs to become a better competitor than a fighter.”
In the first fight, Israel Adesanya did go one of four for takedowns but he also got taken down once by Alex Pereira. Yet, Cejudo thinks wrestling could play a big role in ‘The Last Stylebender’ reclaiming his middleweight title.