On the back end of UFC 276 in Las Vegas, former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping believes Alex Pereira could be the man to dethrone Israel Adesanya.
This past Saturday, Adesanya and Pereira both competed on the main card in front of a sold-out T-Mobile Arena. Both men left the Octagon victorious. However, they displayed different performances.
Since joining the organisation, Pereira presented his best performance to date, viciously knocking out Sean Strickland in round one. In the headliner, Adesanya cruised his way to a unanimous decision win over Jared Cannonier in a fight that presented insufficient action for some fans. Adesanya and Pereira are set to collide for a third time, the first in MMA after the Brazilian has defeated Adesanya twice before in kickboxing. Due to the fact Pereira is (2-0) over the current champion, Bisping is under the impression that Pereira could be the one to end Adesanya’s sensational run.
Michael Bisping Expresses Thoughts on Adesanya vs. Pereira
“What [Adesanya] did to Paulo Costa was f****** incredible,” Bisping said on his Believe You Me podcast. “Yoel Romero, Robert Whittaker twice, the list goes on. Anderson Silva, Kelvin Gastelum, taking out all the top guys. Derek Brunson, Jared Cannonier. There’s literally no one else. That’s why Pereira’s here, a breath of fresh air, a guy that I think, I don’t know, I think he might be the man to do it. I’m not saying that. Izzy’s a better kickboxer than Pereira, but Pereira seems a little nastier, he seems to have a little bit more power. He’s a little sloppier as well, but I understand why he’s going to get the next title shot.”
“Without a doubt [Pereira has the best chance to do it],” Bisping said. “When you see Izzy, the way he beats everybody, every time afterwards I’m like, ‘I’ll never underestimate him again.’ Because I thought Jared Cannonier was gonna — and then I always do! I don’t know why. And when I look at this one early on I’m like, ‘Oh, Pereira’s going to be the guy.’ But again, that is just so disrespectful to the body of work that [Adesanya]’s had. It’s not easy to stay on top like that, on your worst night… That’s what you’ve got to do as a champion, on your worst night, still become the champion. So every time you defended it against the No. 1 contender and Izzy’s done that six or seven times now.”
The fight is certainly on the horizon, but there is no idea when the date will be pencilled in. Neither has indicated when they’d like to return with both men just competing.
Do you think Pereira is the man to take the middleweight title from Adesanya?