Israel Adesanya believes UFC 295’s headliner between Alex Pereira and Jiri Prochazka will be a battle between two special human beings.
Nearly 18 months removed from his Fight of the Year contender with Glover Teixeira, former champion Jiri Prochazka returns determined to reclaim the light heavyweight title he never lost. Standing in his way will be former middleweight king Alex Pereira who is seeking his second world title win in less than a year.
Pereira earned his opportunity at the 205-pound crown with a split decision victory over Jan Blachowicz in July.
Offering his take on the highly anticipated clash, ‘The Last Stylebender’ spoke about Pereira’s light heavyweight debut at UFC 291, suggesting that ‘Poatan’ looked good against the Polish powerhouse, but was noticeably slower competing in the heavier weight class.
“I think he did well. Better than I expected,” Adesanya said in a video on YouTube. “I thought Jan was going to take him down and overwhelm him on the ground, but he had good takedown defense. He looked slower though. He didn’t have as much snap at light heavyweight from what I saw.”
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Adesanya sees both Pereira and Prochazka as special athletes with their own unique style that is guaranteed to bring the fireworks inside the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden.
“I like this fight because they’re both very unorthodox in their approach,” Adesanya said. “Their fighting style… The way Pereira leg kicks. The way Jiri likes to own the space and throw combos. Even his pot shots, the way he moves. His movement is crazy. Very unorthodox.
“I’ll say Pereira is a special human being. Not just a fighter. A special human being and I’ll say that because I’ve been in there with him many times. A special human being and he’s got a special ability when it comes to putting people to sleep. He can do it to anyone. His story is very impressive. What he’s done in kickboxing, then coming to the UFC and hunting me down. Getting hunted and then going up to 205 now and looking to claim a second belt.
“Jiri as well. A special human being. The way he approaches the fight game as a martial artist. He sticks to his code. He knows who he is. He likes to train with different methods. Like, he punches a tree 500 times a day and he’s mentioned before that he’ll lock himself in darkness for three days. That’s even a good way to strengthen [your mind] because you go through some stuff. You have no stimulus. Just darkness and water. You just have to sit there and meditate.”
As for who he sees coming out on top, Israel Adesanya believes the former light heavyweight champ will reclaim his gold in NYC.
“It’s a hard fight for both men, but it’s a hard fight for Jiri because of that time bomb. You can diffuse the bomb. That’s the thing. You have to find out how to diffuse the bomb. It’s exciting, but regardless, I’m going with Jiri Prochazka.”
Watch the full breakdown below: