Alex Pereira defeated Israel Adesanya for a third time in combat sports at UFC 281 to be crowned the new middleweight champ. With an immediate rematch being discussed, former NFL star Ryan Clark wonders how Adesanya’s team can expect it to be any different than the previous three outings.
Interestingly, Daniel Cormier believes Adesanya and his team wouldn’t want a potential rematch to go any different than their previous three outings.
According to Cormier, the fight was ideal from Adesanya’s viewpoint barring the finish. ‘DC’ also noted that ‘The Last Stylebender’ had his winning moments even during his two previous kickboxing losses to Pereira. The former UFC double champion said on the DC & RC show:
“Well, if you are team Adesanya, you don’t want it to go any differently, outside of the ending. Because he was fighting well. It’s not like he was getting beat. He has not been washed out in any of these fights. Most thought he won the first fight and believed that he got robbed.”
Watch Cormier’s comments below (20:28):
Israel Adesanya has opened as a betting favorite in a potential rematch against Alex Pereira
While many believe Israel Adesanya was robbed of a decision in the first matchup, ‘The Last Stylebender’ was clearly outpointing Alex Pereira before getting knocked out in the rematch. Their UFC 281 clash had a similar storyline, with Adesanya suffering a fifth-round upset TKO loss after dominating the majority of the fight.
While the record is heavily tilted towards Pereira, Adesanya has time and again come close to beating ‘Poatan’, missing by inches. Hence, bookmakers might be justified in setting the odds in favor of ‘The Last Stylebender’ in a potential rematch against Pereira.
Despite his third straight loss against Alex Pereira, Israel Adesanya has opened as a slight -150 favorite in a potential fourth clash against the Brazilian. ‘Poatan’, meanwhile, has opened up as the +130 underdog.
Fans have come up with mixed reactions to Adesanya’s opening as the favorite. While some find the odds ridiculous, others find them justified as the former champ exposed flaws in Pereira’s ground game.