Earlier in April at UFC 287, “The Last Stylebender” reclaimed his middleweight championship with a resounding first-career victory over Alex Pereira. A second-round KO by Adesanya led Brazil’s “Poatan” to switch divisions, making his light heavyweight debut in UFC against ex-division champion Jan Blachowicz.
Adesanya’s only MMA defeat occurred before Pereira’s UFC debut, in a match against Blachowicz during his bid to win two division titles. Blachowicz won via unanimous decision, in his sole title defense as champion. Adesanya anticipates his one-time Polish rival to be more cautious in his strategy against the potentially faster Pereira. The middleweight champion believes the showdown between these knockout artists may be determined by who strikes first.
“Jan might fall prey to a left hook if he does what I think he’s planning,” Adesanya shared on his YouTube channel. “I don’t see this going the full distance. If it does, Jan has the upper hand. I’ve experienced Blachowicz’s power, but I believe Alex punches harder. He’s grounded in his technique, he’s not hasty. When he has you where he wants, especially against the fence, he’s patient and strikes. This contributes to his harder hitting power.
“Jan could potentially hit harder, but I think if he brings Alex down, he’ll control the fight for three rounds. I predict a KO victory for Alex.”
At age 40, Blachowicz is known as one of the most potent and resilient fighters at 205 pounds, particularly in his revitalized career’s later stages. His grappling and wrestling skills, often underestimated, essentially secured his win over Adesanya.
Throughout his 39-fight career, Blachowicz (29-9-1) has only been knocked out by blows twice, the first due to a leg injury. If 36-year-old Pereira (7-2) can land a blow on Poland’s top fighter, he’ll join compatriot Thiago Santos in this achievement.
“These are both fighters I’ve battled against, both have defeated me,” Adesanya commented. “So, I’m keen to see how this matchup plays out? Other elements come into play as well, like grappling. Jan may try to employ this early to nullify Alex’s striking potential and wear him down.
“I anticipate a stand-up fight. Jan will surely attempt takedowns. Alex needs to leverage his knee. He’s good at timing it offensively. But defensively, he needs to train on countering advances, especially sloppy takedowns.”
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Finally, Adesanya suspects the co-main event at UFC 291 could be most impacted by altitude.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about UFC 291 prediction
Who does Israel Adesanya predict will win the UFC 291 co-main event?
Israel Adesanya predicts that Alex Pereira will win the UFC 291 co-main event.
Who did Adesanya claim punches harder, Alex Pereira or Jan Blachowicz?
Adesanya stated that Alex Pereira punches harder than Jan Blachowicz.
According to Adesanya, what strategy could Blachowicz employ in his fight against Pereira?
Adesanya suggests that if Blachowicz manages to take Pereira down, he could control the fight for three rounds.
What is Adesanya’s prediction for the outcome of the fight?
Adesanya predicts that Pereira will win the fight via knockout.
Who did Adesanya fight in UFC 287?
Adesanya fought Alex Pereira in UFC 287 and reclaimed his middleweight championship.