“I was shocked at how big he is in real life” – Anthony Smith believes size advantage will allow Alex Pereira to fight Israel Adesanya on his own terms
UFC light heavyweight fighter Anthony Smith is confident that Alex Pereia’s significant size advantage over Israel Adesanya is going to allow him to have more control in their upcoming middleweight title bout.
UFC 281 pits long-time rivals Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira for the middleweight title. The pair’s history dates back to their days as professional kickboxers. Adesanya and Pereira fought twice, with the Brazilian getting the better of the New Zealander on both occasions. Adding to that, ‘Poatan’s second victory over ‘The Last Stylebender’ was a flush KO, which remains the only time Adesanya has been finished in his entire fighting career.
In terms of their UFC careers, there are no comparisons. Adesanya is undefeated in the middleweight division and has defended the title on five occasions. The 35-year-old Brazilian, on the other hand, only made his UFC debut last year but has impressed everyone in that short time. ‘Poatan’ has won all three of his fights so far, including a stunning KO over Sean Strickland back in July.
On the latest episode of the Believe You Me podcast, Anthony Smith revealed that he considers Alex Pereira a serious risk to Israel Adesanya’s reign as champion:
“I was shocked at how big he is in real life… Alex Pereira is huge… He’s drastically larger. I think Izzy is going to win most of the exchanges but Pereira can fight him on his terms. He’s the only guy in the mixed martial arts world in that weightclass that can fight Izzy on his terms and win. There’s no threat of wrestling either. Neither one of these guys are shooting takedowns.”
Check out the full episode here:
Chael Sonnen gives his take on Alex Pereira mimicking Israel Adesanya’s training
Chael Sonnen recently weighed in on Alex Pereia mocking Israel Adesanya by sharing a video of himself training on a hoverboard. According to Sonnen, ‘Poatan’ is doing the right thing by trying to get into the head of the middleweight champion.
‘The American Gangster’ was also interested in what Adesanya’s reaction was going to be. The 45-year-old believes that fighters often struggle if their own tactics are used against them. It may be more so in this case due to Pereira’s size advantage over the 185-pound champion.
In a video uploaded to his YouTube channel, he said:
“The mere fact that Pereira was doing it to mock Izzy, that’s good stuff for me… I’ll also tell you one thing about Adesanya, he’s never had a partner. Adesanya’s just had opponents. I mean Adesanya walks to the ring, he’s doing the Undertaker, you couldn’t even remember what his opponent had walked out too… People always don’t like to see a mirror reflection of themselves.”
Catch Sonnen’s video here: