Stephen Thompson takes a look at Israel Adesanya’s striking in his latest breakdown.
There is a middleweight title bout coming up this weekend at UFC 287. Champion Alex Pereira will be taking on Israel Adesanya in the main event in Miami. This will be the fourth meeting between these two over the course of their careers. They met twice in kickboxing and once in the UFC. In all three meetings, Pereira was the winner. Adesanya was a very dominant champion during his middleweight reign and now he looks to regain his belt and finally beat his longtime foe.
Adesanya is known for his striking skills and is said to be one of the best strikers in the UFC. Another man who has a claim to that title as well is Stephen Thompson. He is now looking at Adesanya’s standup game and breaking down what needs to change in order to finally beat Pereira.
Stephen Thompson thinks something needs to change for Adesanya to be successful at UFC 287
Thompson has a background in Karate that has led him to much success in MMA. He is a magnificent striker and when faced with another striker in the cage, can put on a show. He is now taking a look at Adesanya in his last outing against Pereira. On his YouTube he is explaining his style and what needs to change.
“His boxing range, I mean, it’s very high level, but obviously that’s how he lost I think last time,” he said. “Alex made him and forced him to fight in that situation. Why is that? Because his bread and butter is long-range skills, kind of like myself, the guy loves to keep an abnormally large range between him and his opponent and he’s so good at reading his opponent and keeping that distance. He’s so high level at the close range and long range. He’s done very well but it’s that boxing range where I think is where he lost.”
Adesanya was winning the last bout at UFC 281 but was TKO’d in the fifth round. Many feel that if he does the same thing as in his last fight he might be able to get the win, Thompson thinks he needs to change his training and plan.
“He’s gonna go out there and get it on. I think Alex knew it, how to beat Izzy is that he’s just going to have to eat it come forward, and pressure,” he said. “So I’ll wonder if Izzy Adesanya has made those adjustments for this fight. He’s already said this is his toughest camp yet. He’s gonna go out there and give it all he’s got. I’m looking forward to it.”
Adesanya has spoken about how he feels this could be his last chance at beating Pereira. Neither man is known for their ground game so the chances of this fight being contested in the majority on the feet is likely. On April 8 the world will see if Adesanya has improved and put in the work to beat Pereira, or if Pereira can continue his dominance over Adesanya.