Michael Bisping believes Alex Pereira might be the man to unseat Israel Adesanya.
This past weekend, both Adesanya and Pereira fought on the main card of UFC 276, with different yet similar results. In the featured bout of the main card, Pereira turned in his best UFC performance, brutally knocking out Sean Strickland in the first round. In the main event, Adesanya was also dominant, albeit less spectacularly, winning a comfortable unanimous decision over Jared Cannonier. Given their history with one another, the two men are now once again on a collision course, and despite Adesanya’s exceptional resume in the octagon, Bisping believes Pereira could be destined to become the new champion.
“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.”
Pereira would certainly argue the point about Adesanya being better than him. Aside from holding a pair of wins over Adesanya in kickboxing, Pereira also won both the middleweight and light heavyweight Glory championships, something Adesanya never did. But while Pereira may be the more accomplished kickboxer, Adesanya is undoubtedly the more accomplished MMA fighter. “The Last Stylebender” has more championship fights inside the octagon than Pereira has had in his entire MMA career, which appears to be a major factor holding Bisping back from outright picking Pereira to become the new champion.
“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.”
Bisping has plenty of time to think about this fight and make a more definitive pick. Following UFC 276, Adesanya did not give a timeline on when he would like to return. The UFC is still in need of main events for UFC 279 and UFC 280 in September and October, but it remains to be seen whether that would be too quick a turnaround for Adesanya or Pereira.
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Jon Jones Tweeting.
look at Francis over there defending Elsa, how cute. I could takeoff two more years and you guys work combined won’t match what I’ve done in that octagon. #Facts
— BONY (@JonnyBones) July 6, 2022
I’m really not impressed with you or your boy, I’ve seen you quit multiple times. And your boy almost got flat lined the last time he faced Alex. Both of you guys win your next fights, then I’ll be impressed. Until then, keep the name out of your mouth, there’s levels.
— BONY (@JonnyBones) July 6, 2022
movsar id rather beat ur ass n a street fite than a ufc fite. i kno ur ur russian and if u fot me ud b rushin to the hospital. if u get close to me im swingin i dont like how ur manager talks to me. ur his bitch too haha. ill beat ur mans ass too
— Bryce Mitchell (@ThugnastyMMA) July 7, 2022
Shout out to Nate Robinson.
The NBA player had more courage than most of these fighters.
— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) July 6, 2022
Chris Curtis (29-8) vs. Jack Hermansson (22-7); UFC London, July 23.
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