Israel Adesanya head coach, Eugene Bareman, would favor Sean Strickland’s chances at the title over Alex Pereira.
Former Glory champion Alex Pereira took the MMA world by storm when he joined the UFC. Despite only two fights under the banner, Pereira has gained notoriety based on his prior accomplishments in kickboxing. Now he looks forward to extending his record in his next fight in the biggest fighting promotion in the world.
Israel Adesanya should fight Sean Strickland over Alex Pereira: Coach
Pereira will take on Sean Strickland this July 2 at UFC 276. Strickland currently sits at the fourth spot tied with Derek Brunson and Paulo Costa in the rankings. ‘Poatan’ is not a ranked opponent and has fought only twice in the UFC. Given his history with Adesanya, fans are salivating to see the two fight inside an octagon.
Adesanya’s head coach, Eugene Bareman, is of the opinion that Pereira has not done enough in the promotion to warrant a title shot. He believes Strickland is more deserving of the chance based on his resume in the UFC.
In a recent interview with Submission Radio, Bareman dismissed the notion of Pereira getting a shot at ‘Izzy’ as he argued in favor of Strickland. Bareman, who also serves as the head coach for another UFC champion, Alexander Volkanovski, believes the bout to be a title eliminator but only for Strickland.
“I think Pereira’s just another fighter trying to make his way to the champion who’s beat the champion in a completely different sport. I just don’t think Israel even thinks about it too hard, I definitely don’t.
“The only reason I say Strickland is because if Strickland wins, that’s a really clear cut contender. Whereas if Pereira wins, it’s like, well, you’ve beaten one guy, you’ve probably gotta beat some more. So, if Strickland wins, there’s a clear cut fight that we can have eight weeks later hopefully.”
Bareman: Adesanya is not bothered by Pereira
Before Pereira made his way into the UFC, he was the first GLORY kickboxing champion at both middleweight and light heavyweight simultaneously. Pereira has competed against the current UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya on two occasions and came out on top both times.
‘Poatan’ is also the only man to have ever knocked out Adesanya, which he did in their rematch in kickboxing. Despite having the blemish on his record, Bareman stated that Adesanya is not bothered by the arrival of Pereira.
“It would be nice for Strickland to win, because Strickland’s body of work is good enough to fight for a title. Whereas if Pereira wins, he’s still gotta do more work.
“I wasn’t involved in the fight. So, I don’t have some deep-seeded need to go and beat up Pereira because we lost to him. We had a match with Pereira and lost fair and square in those matches. That’s the life of a fighter.”
UFC 276 will go down this July 2nd at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Israel Adesanya will face off against Jared Cannonier in the headlining title fight of the night.