top of page

UFC 287: Redemption or Repeat?

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

On April 9th, Israel Adesanya will face off against the current middleweight champion Alex Periera for the second time in the UFC and their fourth fight overall.

They had earlier fought each other twice in GLORY, a kickboxing promotion with the first fight being a razor close decision victory for Alex. The second fight was much more decisive with a late comeback knockout victory in favor of Alex again.

When they met for the first time in the UFC, things were a little different as it had been nearly 6 years since their second bout and Adesanya was the reigning middleweight champion and undefeated in his weight class.

Until the stoppage in the 5th round, I believed Adesanya put on a masterclass amid critisicms of his recent fights being too "boring". His movement and his timing seemed on point. Alex's leg/calf kicks ultimately paid huge dividends as it compromised Adensanya's evasive footwork and pinned him on the fence. Periera managed to land a huge power shot and swarmed Adesanya forcing the referee, Marc Goddard to wave the fight off.

Adesanya with his fighting style and personality has already cemented his legacy as one the best strikers ever in the UFC. However, losing four times to a fellow kickboxer and twice in the UFC will definitely dampen his legacy a little. Alex looked significant bigger than Adesanya and thus will have the size and power advantage heading into this fight as well.

In their last fight, I felt Adesanya looked crisper in terms of just pure striking and almost stopped Alex within the first round. He also dominated him in grappling sequences. What will be interesting to see is how Adesanya can handle Alex's power and his mental ability to face adversity to defeat a fighter that has already beat him three times. Whether Alex truly has Adensanya's number is up for debate as many believe, including me, that Adesanya was winning all three fights until the stoppage/decision.

I am huge fan of Adesanya and would love it for him to get this one back and redeem himself and continue his path to greatness. But Alex has to be scariest fighter on the UFC currently now that Ngannou is a free agent. Training with Glover Texeria, his grappling and ground game is only going to get better and that's definitely a scary, scary thought. I am not certain where Alex will rank among the best fighters if he does manage to get it done against Adesanya again. He has to up there for sure, amongst the GOATs of combat sport considering he is a 2 division k1 kickboxing champion too.

Prediction: Adesanya by TKO/KO in the fourth round.

Author : Abhinav Ravichandran

52 views0 comments


bottom of page