Israel Adesanya Details His ‘Game Plan’ Ahead Of Alex Pereira Clash At UFC 281

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Saikat Banerjee
A wordsmith who indulges in the world of combat sports, Saikat Banerjee is an MMA, boxing, and arm wrestling content writer at The MMA India Show and The Sports Room. Apart from combat sports, he also engages in Indian sports content at The Sports India Show. Currently pursuing an MBA from Jadavpur University, Saikat's other interests lie in motorcycling, working out, and travelling.
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The upcoming UFC 281 on November 12th at the MSG in New York is featuring one of the most anticipated fights of this year, bringing two lifelong rivals face to face.

For me, it’s not the techniques, but the gameplan: Israel Adesanya

Reigning UFC Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will defend his belt against Alex Pereira, a fighter who has already defeated him twice during their stint as kickboxers in GLORY. Ahead of taking on his grudge rival, Izzy opened up on the game plan he has in place in place for the big fight.

“This camp isn’t just a step up, it’s more like three steps up,” Adesanya told Combat TV, “Dan [Hooker] put it in the way like Eugene [Bareman] shook a snow globe. The last three weeks have been work, work so I know what’s gonna happen. I know what we have to do, us four that is, to get the job done because we’re fit. I can tell you that much – we’re fit. We’re already great fighters but we’re really fit right now.”

“My mental’s [aspect] already strong. For me, it’s not the techniques, but the gameplan if you want to say that. I like the gameplan we have. A and B. I’ll stick to A, but if we need to go to B – and I can freestyle as well and that’s my thing so I’m ready for whatever,” he added. [H/T Sportskeeda]

Adesanya, 33, will now make his sixth defense of his 185-pound throne. His first accomplishment came in April 2019, when he beat Kelvin Gastelum for the interim middleweight belt. He then defeated Robert Whittaker to unify the interim and world titles.

The Nigerian would then go on to successfully defend the title against Yoel Romero, Paulo Costa, Marvin Vettori, Robert Whittaker, and Jared Cannonier. Last year, Adesanya even moved up to fight for the light heavyweight title but lost to Jan Błachowicz.

Alex Pereira, 35, beat Israel Adesanya on points in 2016 at Glory. At that time, the Brazilian only had one win and one loss in MMA. In 2017, in a rematch, ‘Poatan’ beat Adesanya again, this time by knockout. Shortly before that, he had marked his second MMA victory.

In the midst of his kickboxing career, the Brazilian had won his third fight in mixed martial arts. In November 2021, Pereira made his UFC debut with a knockout of Andreas Michailidis at UFC 268. He then won a tough fight with Bruno Blindado and in his third and latest outing in the Octagon, knocked out Sean Strickland last July at UFC 276.

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