Coach Israel Adesanya? UFC champ gives former nemesis advice ahead of UFC 291

Leave it to coach Israel Adesanya to give his former rival some sound advice ahead of his upcoming fight at UFC 291.

By: Kristen King | 4 months ago
Coach Israel Adesanya? UFC champ gives former nemesis advice ahead of UFC 291
Israel Adesanya punches Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259 | IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

Israel Adesanya is coming through for one of his former foes, giving Alex Pereira advice on his upcoming fight with Jan Blachowicz. Now that the most recent chapter of their rivalry has come to a close after the ‘Last Stylebender’ dethroned ‘Po Atan’ via second-round KO at UFC 287 this past April, the latter announced a move from middleweight to light heavyweight. 

Israel Adesanya to Alex Pereira: Be patient

For his first fight, the UFC paired Pereira with an ex-champion in Blachowicz, who held the UFC light heavyweight championship for a year. In his first defense, the Polish fighter was scheduled for a champ vs. champ fight against Adesanya at UFC 259, where he handed the ‘Last Stylebender’ his first-ever loss. Since he has experience with Blachowicz, Adesanya was down to give Pereira advice on how to deal with his fellow former foe. He did so during their recent run-in at an Australian airport. 

“We talked, we went through security, took our shoes off,” said Adesanya on IMPAULSIVE. “And then we’re waiting for our bags to come through the belt, and then talked about – I was like, ‘Jan next, yeah?’ because he is fighting a guy, first MMA loss for me when I went up to 205 [pounds]. He kind of has the same idea. 

“Pretty much through our limited conversation skills, because of his English and my Portuguese, we kind of had the same idea of what’s gonna happen,” continued Adesanya. “But I had to let him know, I thought the same thing when I fought Jan. I thought Jan was gonna attack me a little bit more, but he was patient. So I kind of let him know, you be patient, too. In more so words. I didn’t wanna say too much, but yeah.”

Potential KO incoming?

Though Israel Adesanya previously said Jan Blachowicz would employ the same strategy he used against him for Alex Pereira, the City Kickboxing product warned the ex-champion of the power he has to face. 

“I feel like [Alex Pereira] can knock him out. He can knock out Jan badly,” said Adesanya. “I hurt Jan. I hurt Jan really bad and that’s why Jan decided in the fourth round, ‘I’m gonna take him down,’ and went for the takedown.”

Despite the warning from Adesanya, Blachowicz is already preparing to test his power against Pereira. 

“I love to fight against fighters like this because I don’t need to look for motivation to prepare for this kind of fighter,” said Blachowicz on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani recently. “[I want to] check my standup against his standup. I want to check how I’m going to look because he’s one of the best strikers in the world. This is something what I want to know, how my striking is going to look against him.”

On the line for Blachowicz and Pereira is a championship opportunity against reigning UFC light heavyweight champ Jamahal Hill, who has yet to schedule his first defense.

When is Jan Blachowicz vs. Alex Pereira?

Jan Blachowicz vs. Alex Pereira goes down at UFC 291, the upcoming pay-per-view event scheduled for July 29 at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

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About the author
Kristen King
Kristen King

Kristen King is a writer for Bloody Elbow. She has covered combat sports since 2016, getting her start with outlets such as FanSided, MyMMANews and MMA-Prospects. She joined the BE team in 2020, covering a mix of news, events and injuries. In her time with BE, Kristen has created ‘Fright of the Night,’ a series that highlights some of the worst injuries in the sport.

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