MMA/UFC

Israel Adesanya says Alex Pereira hits harder than Jan Blachowicz, expects finish at UFC 291

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UFC 287: Pereira v Adesanya 2
Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Israel Adesanya is quite familiar with the men featured in the UFC 291 co-main event this Saturday night.

UFC 287 this past April saw “The Last Stylebender” regain his middleweight title with a devastating first-career win over Alex Pereira. Adesanya’s second-round knockout has led to Brazil’s “Poatan” making a change as he debuts at light heavyweight in the UFC against former divisional champion Jan Blachowicz.

Before Pereira arrived in the UFC Adesanya’s lone MMA loss came against Blachowicz in his attempt to become a dual-division titlist. Blachowicz earned the unanimous decision in what was his first and only title defense as champion. Adesanya expects his one-time Polish adversary to be patient with his approach against a likely quicker-starting Pereira. Ultimately, the two-time middleweight king feels the battle of knockout artists could come down to whoever lands first.

“If Jan does what I think he’s gonna do, he’s gonna get caught with a left hook,” Adesanya said on his YouTube channel. “I don’t think this goes the distance. If it does, Jan wins. I felt [Blachowicz’s power]. I think Alex hits harder. It’s just the way he throws, the technique he throws with, the technique he grounds himself. He’s not running, he’s not moving and throwing. He sits when he gets you where he wants you. Especially against the fence. He’ll sit there and throw, so that’s how he’s able to hit harder.

“Jan could definitely learn how to hit harder but if Jan gets him down, I think he’s just going to control him there for three rounds. I’m going Alex by knockout.

Blachowicz, 40, has notoriously been one of the harder hitters with a rather durable chin at 205 pounds, especially later on in his somewhat resurgent career. However, one of the more slept-on aspects of his game has been his grappling and wrestling abilities, which essentially earned him the win against Adesanya.

In his 39-fight career, Blachowicz (29-9-1) has only been stopped by strikes on two occasions and the first was from a leg injury. If the 36-year-old Pereira (7-2) can crack the chin of Poland’s finest, he’ll join his fellow Brazilian Thiago Santos, adding that feather to his cap.

“These are two guys that I’ve fought, two guys that have both beat me,” Adesanya said. “So, it’s interesting to see how does that matchup play into each other? Also, there’s different elements as well. The grappling element. Jan might just try and do that early on and take away his power, his chances of striking and wear him down.

“I think it will be on the feet. Jan’s definitely going to try and take it down. He’s not stupid. Alex, just f—king use that knee. He knows how to time it well but that’s when he’s offensive. Defensively, if someone’s shooting on him or someone’s coming in, you have to drill that and have that in your arsenal sometimes if they do a sloppy takedown, you’re able to defy that.”


TOP STORIES

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Hype. Paulo Costa responds to Khamzat Chimaev, predicts first-round knockout at UFC 294

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Prediction. Justin Gaethje: Jorge Masvidal will ‘hate’ to wrap BMF title around my waist

Rematch. Dustin Poirier on ‘collision course‘ with Justin Gaethje at UFC 291, still down to fight Nate Diaz

Heavyweight. Tom Aspinall chuckles at Jon JonesUFC London tweet: ‘I think he kind of patronized me

Rivals. Lerone Murphy explains beef with ‘deluded’ Nathaniel Wood


VIDEO STEW

The MMA Hour.

291 Media Day.

Embedded 3.

Chiesa vs. Holland preview.

Quite the flying knee.

Super RIZIN 2 Special Announcement Pre-Fight Presser Highlights.

Gaethje – Behind the Curtain.

Poatan’s fight week.

Champ camp.

The body shot challenge.


LISTEN UP

No Bets Barred. MMA Fighting’s Jed Meshew and Conner Burks discuss who will claim the vacant BMF Title at UFC 291.


MORNING MUSIC


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Whiskey legends.

Former.

Iced.

He’s beautiful.

Finish him.

Good old Wonderboy.

Shark attack.

R.I.P.

Middleweight drama.

Smesh brothers.

Then Khamzat on a horse. Look out, Latifi.

Dreamer.

Good company.

Nasty.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Toshiomi Kazama (10-3) vs. Garrett Armfield (8-3); UFC Singapore, Aug. 26

Daniel Zellhuber (13-1) vs. Christos Giagos (20-10); UFC Las Vegas, Sept. 16


FINAL THOUGHTS

If one fight at UFC 291 is most affected by the altitude, I could, unfortunately, see it being the co-main event.

Thanks for reading!


EXIT POLL


If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @DrakeRiggs_ on Twitter and let him know about it. Also, follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.

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