MMA

UFC 281: Alex Pereira vs Israel Adesanya Picks, Predictions, Odds

Israel Adesanya vs Alex Pereira
November 12, 2022 11:55 pm EDT
The Line: Alex Pereira +185 / Israel Adesanya -220
(Click here for latest betting odds)

Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira fight Saturday in UFC 281 at the Madison Square Garden. Adesanya enters this fight with a 23-1 record and has won 65 percent of his fights by knockout. Pereira enters this fight with a 6-1 record and has won 83 percent of his fights by knockout.

Adesanya has won 7 of his last 8 fights, and he’s coming off a July win over Jared Cannonier. Adesanya is averaging 3.93 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 49 percent. He is averaging 0.00 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 0 percent. Adesanya is coming off a decision win at UFC 276 where he landed 163 total strikes and 50 percent of his significant strikes. Adesanya has seen each of his last 4 fights go the distance, and he’s won 8 of his 9 career decisions. Adesanya has a chance to win 3 fights this year, putting himself in the convo for fighter of the year. Adesanya is simply an athletic freak who comes from a kickboxing and boxing background and is as crafty and creative as they come. He is long, rangy with an 80-inch reach, mixes in his leg kicks well and has an unorthodox stance. It’s hard to predict what Adesanya is going to do next, making him a very dangerous fighter. At now 33 years old, Adesanya is still one of the best in the sport regardless of weight class. This will be Adesanya’s second career fight in New York.

Pereira has won 6 straight fights and is coming off a July win over Sean Strickland. Pereira is averaging 6.29 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 60 percent. Pereira is averaging 0.00 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 0 percent. Pereira is coming off a knockout win at UFC 276 where he landed 25 total strikes and 62 percent of his significant strikes. Pereira is now 3-0 under the UFC banner and hasn’t lost since his pro debut in 2015. Pereira is 35 years old, comes from a deep kickboxing and boxing background, and has shown he can get the job done in MMA despite the late start. Pereira has just 4 MMA fights since 2016 and 3 of those bouts were knockouts. A creative striker who is a black belt in kickboxing, Pereira is dangerous on his feet and has a good takedown defense as well. It’s rather impressive to see Pereira adapt to new rules under such a short time, and a victory here would be an incredible story. This will be Pereira’s second career fight in New York.

Pereira is going to get a lot of love from bettors, given that he beat Adesanya twice in kickboxing years ago. Adesanya was knocked out twice with a right hook in 2016 and a left hook in 2017. With that said, Adesanya has proven far and away more in the sport of MMA and is somebody I don’t like to step in front of given his body of work and consistency. Yes, Pereira has been impressive in a short sample size, and his accuracy has been on point in his last few fights. I just trust Adesanya more on this stage.

Give me Adesanya to get some revenge. 

Randy Chambers's Free Pick:
Israel Adesanya -220
Back to top button