Israel Adesanya thought he would be the betting underdog at UFC 287 as he is rematching Alex Pereira.
Adesanya and Pereira fought twice in kickboxing with the Brazilian winning both, including one by KO. Both men turned to MMA and the two fought at UFC 281 as Pereira was challenging for Adesanya’s middleweight title at UFC 281. Just like in kickboxing, it was Pereira getting his hand raised as he scored a fifth-round TKO in a fight the champ was well on his way to winning.
Adesanya Says He’s ‘Lucky’ To Face Alex Pereira
Now, as the two are set to rematch this Saturday at UFC 287, Adesanya was surprised when he saw the betting odds and he was the favorite. He assumed after losing to Pereira back in November he would be the underdog, especially now that the fans know Pereira has that nuke in his left hand that can end a fight at any time.
“I am surprised by that to be honest because I thought these bookies weren’t as smart as they are,” Adesanya said to TMZ Sports. “I’m surprised they actually picked me as the favorite cause I am the more polished fighter, but he’s the guy that’s got the tools, he’s got that nuke. Only a few fighters in history have that. You just said in an interview, you are lucky to face a Mike Tyson, you’re lucky to face a guy like David Tua, you’re lucky to face a guy like Deontay Wilder even just once in your career. You are lucky to face a guy like Alex Pereira even once in your career so yeah lucky me.”
Although Israel Adesanya was surprised to be the betting favorite, he is confident he will reclaim his title on Saturday. Adesanya knows he was close to stopping Pereira at the end of the first round which gives him more confidence heading into their fight in Miami on Saturday night.
“One more shot, one more shot is all it took. I mean, I did the same thing when I fought my guy Rob at UFC 243, at the last second I dropped him. I’m dangerous every second of every fight,” Adesanya said.