Daniel Cormier discusses Pereira vs. Adesanya 2
Adesanya reclaimed the UFC middleweight championship with a second-round KO of Pereira at UFC 287 this past Saturday. Prior to the KO, ‘Po Atan’ found success with calf kicks (again), which caused a lot of damage in his first fight with the ‘Last Stylebender’ at UFC 281 in November. Those calf kicks damaged the peroneal nerve in that first Octagon bout, leaving Adesanya ‘compromised’ until Pereira finished the fight via fifth-round TKO.
It appeared as though Pereira was on his way to an eerily similar fight-ending sequence at UFC 287 as well. He stung Adesanya with calf kicks and moved forward with a flurry of punches. This time, however, the City Kickboxing product remained patient and waited for his chance to counter with a right hand. The first one ended the flurry, and the second one ended the fight.
“The fight did not start great for [Adesanya],” said Cormier on his official YouTube channel. “Pereira was having a lot of success with those outside leg kicks again. And then, he seemed to have hurt Adesanya early in the fight and was doing really well. But ultimately, it was a mistake by Pereira that ultimately cost him.
“He hurts Adesanya with a leg kick, Adesanya’s leg buckles. [Adesanya] fades to the side of the Octagon. Pereira starts to rush and force. Adesanya lands a beautiful counter right hand over the top and hurts Alex. Then a follow-up right hand not only knocks him out, it literally shut his lights out completely. It was exactly what ‘The Last Stylebender’ said he was going to do.”
Cormier shares adjustments Alex Pereira should make
For Cormier, there are a few things Pereira should adjust ahead of his return, especially if he wants a trilogy with Adesanya. Specifically, the former two-division UFC champion wants the Brazilian to avoid getting careless in his attempts to finish fights now.
“The success Pereira had early in the fight tells us he can compete with Izzy,” said Cormier. “I don’t know if him winning that one fight warrants him getting an immediate rematch. I don’t know. I don’t know what the UFC wants to do. Izzy has fought the vast majority of the highest-ranked middleweights. So if he does get another shot, no one can complain.
“It’s going to be a rematch of some sort because Izzy was so dominant for so long,” continued Cormier. “But I think Alex will grow from this. He will learn from this. He will learn that he cannot take the risk, when he has somebody hurt, as recklessly with four-ounce gloves. Adesanya has hurt him many times. But, tonight, he was able to complete the job and knock Alex Pereira out and take that championship back to Australia with City Kickboxing.”
Will there be a trilogy between Adesanya, Pereira?
Though Cormier sees a third (and potentially) final fight between Adesanya and Pereira, the new two-time UFC middleweight champion says that ship has sailed. During his post-fight press conference, the 33-year-old declared their rivalry officially over, so instead of fighting the same person again, he wants a new challenge. That could come against Dricus Du Plessis, the No. 6 ranked middleweight contender who has seemingly annoyed Adesanya with his recent comments over who should be considered ‘an African champion’.
As long as Du Plessis continues to win, Adesanya has no issue defending against him in the near future.
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