Israel Adesanya, the former UFC middleweight champion, will face Alex Pereira in an immediate middleweight title rematch at UFC 287 on April 8th. Adesanya is looking to avenge his loss to Pereira at UFC 281 when he was minutes away from likely winning a decision on the judges’ scorecards. Adesanya, in addition to attempting to reclaim the UFC middleweight throne, is aiming to earn his first combat sports win over Pereira. He lost to Pereira twice during their time in Glory Kickboxing before both athletes eventually transitioned to MMA. Another MMA loss to Pereira would put Adesanya out of the middleweight title picture.
Adesanya is preparing for this fight as if it were during the early part of his athletic career when he was scrapping to make a name for himself. During a recent behind-the-scenes segment on his YouTube channel, Adesanya was asked whether or not his mindset has changed ahead of UFC 287. “Yeah, I do,” Adesanya said. “This is kind of poetic, in a way. This is my last shot, and I’m gonna give it all I got.”
Before the loss to Pereira, Adesanya was unbeaten in his middleweight career. His only other loss was for the light heavyweight title to Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259. Adesanya had successfully defended the middleweight title five straight times before the loss to Pereira. He was and is still regarded as one of the pound-for-pound best.
To avenge his loss to Pereira, Adesanya is preparing for this fight with his all-out efforts. Another MMA loss to Pereira would put Adesanya out of the middleweight title picture, and it seems like he’s preparing as if his career and relevancy are both on the line. This rematch will certainly be one of the most highly anticipated fights of the year