This weekend, Nigerian-New Zealander Israel Adesanya will appear on the octagon for the first time since knocking out Alex Pereira in the second round of their fight back in April.
With the victory, Adesanya regained the UFC middleweight title, which he lost after he was beaten by Pereira last year. This Saturday’s fight against Sean Strickland will see Adesanya attempt to successfully defend his title and prove himself once again as one of the greatest middleweight fighters of all time.
After five successful title defence before falling to the hands of Pereira, Adesanya is ready to start all over again, heading into the fight with a record of 24-2, with one of those losses happening at the middleweight division.
When you have fought as many fights as Adesanya has and against some of the toughest fighters in the franchise, you seem almost invincible. But the loss against last year would, no doubt, have served as a reality check to the 34-year-old and will see him become more careful in future fights. One way you can tell is that April’s fight was the first time in 3 years that Adesanya won via knockout. Maybe we might see a repeat of that this weekend?
Keep in mind Strickland is no pushover. Currently ranked fifth in the UFC middleweight with a MMA record of 26 wins from 32 fights, it seems the American would prove a challenge for The Last Stylebender, but to what degree?
Strickland winning the match on Saturday would do a lot of good to his career as this will mark his second match since returning to the welterweight division. He has two losses from his last five fights and has a fair history of KO by punches. As the underdog, there is a lot for him to gain if he can bring his best on Saturday evening and go all out against Adesanya.