- UFC 281’s main event pits Israel Adesanya against Alex Pereira.
- Pereira has two kickboxing victories over Adesanya.
- Adesanya’s last three fights have been unanimous decision victories.
LAS VEGAS - UFC 281 features a matchup between Israel Adesanya and his kickboxing rival, Alex Pereira.
Adesanya has outfought everyone who’s faced him so far in the UFC, but Pereira has two victories over him in kickboxing. That said, the online sportsbooks favor Adesanya.
Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira
This matchup is intriguing, given Pereira’s two kickboxing victories over Adesanya. Adesanya has stymied grapplers in the UFC with elite takedown defense, but Pereira may be his equal on the feet.
The intriguing aspect of this matchup is that Pereira’s takedown defense is mostly untested – Adesanya may be a more well-rounded fighter in the context of MMA, but if this matchup turns into a standup fight, Pereira could have the advantage.
The fact that Adesanya is favored should tell UFC bettors which direction the total rounds O/U is going, however.
Adesanya Vs. Pereira Total Rounds Over/Under
It’s almost impossible to discuss Israel Adesanya without touching on his penchant for decision victories.
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Much of this is due to his prowess as a counter-striker preventing opponents from approaching him, and his prowess at takedown defense nullifying opposing wrestlers.
Adesanya’s last three fights have ended in decision victories. His last TKO/KO win came over Paulo Costa, on September 27, 2020 – more than two years ago.
If bettors are favoring Pereira in this matchup, it might be wise to take the under on 4.5 rounds in this fight.
Pereira’s two victories over Adesanya in kickboxing came by decision and TKO – and he’s fresh off of a KO victory over Sean Strickland that surely put Adesanya on notice.
Can Pereira Do It? Y/N
Maxwell joined the USAOnlineSportsbooks team in 2019. He focuses on creating sports betting content that informs and educates. He focuses on the NBA, the NFL, College Football and Basketball, and whatever else comes across his desk.