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UFC 281: Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereria November 12 Betting Preview
In one of the most highly anticipated events of the year, UFC 281 is underway this weekend from Madison Square Garden in New York City. Headlining this stacked event will be former kickboxing foes Israel Adesanya (23-1) and Alex Pereira (6-1) in a UFC middleweight championship bout.
These two have met twice before in the sport of kickboxing. Pereira is 2-0 officially over Adesanya, even though both fights were very close to going in Adesanya’s favor.
Adesanya has shown success over Pereira in the striking game, but one time the scorecards read differently, and the other ended in a brutal KO. This is the only time the City Kickboxing product has ever been KO’d in competition.
Pereira has been fast-tracked to this title shot because of the history these two have and the marketable style of fighting he brings to the table. The man is arguably the pound-for-pound most powerful fighter on the planet, and he can knock anyone in the world out with just one touch.
According to UFC stats, both men are virtually identical on paper with their measurables. Pereira also averages a whopping 6.29 strikes landed per minute, and Adesanya averages 3.93. The sample size is much smaller for Pereira, so you need to take the stats lightly.
Adesanya is going to make his 10th appearance in a 5-round fight in the UFC, while Pereira is making his first. This is a narrative that hasn’t been talked about much, but it has to be a big factor when predicting how this fight will go down.
The champion is the betting favorite at (-213) going into this weekend. Pereira is the (+170) underdog, even with the two wins over Adesanya in the past. The over/under is set at 4.5 rounds, which is surprising, knowing the ability both fighters have to finish each other.
How Will This Play Out?
After seeing the energy surrounding the whole City Kickboxing team that has traveled from New Zealand to have 4 of their athletes fight on this UFC 281 card, it seems like Adesanya is prepared for war.
Pereira is a natural warrior with superhuman power that has the confidence to walk Adesanya down and try to put his lights out. Even with the fast track to the title, Pereira will show that he belongs at the top of this division and in this title fight.
Adesanya is going to have the advantage with his experience in the octagon and this sport. No matter what the narrative is around the MMA fan base, this sport is very different than kickboxing. You can pretty much toss those first two fights in the trash and start on a clean slate between these two.
Expect both men to leave a part of themselves in the cage on Saturday night and to both face adversity in their own way. This has the makings to be an absolute war that can end at any moment.
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