Glover Teixeira has revealed why he believes that Alex Pereira will defeat UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in a potential MMA bout. Speaking to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Teixeira was all praise for his training partner Pereira.
Alex Pereira beat Israel Adesanya twice in the sport of kickboxing, first via unanimous decision and then via knockout. UFC light heavyweight champion Glover Teixeira suggested that he’s taking nothing away from Adesanya, but feels that he’ll lose to Pereira in MMA as well. Teixeira stated:
“Alex has been ready for Adesanya. When he first fight in the UFC, I knew he was going to climb the ladder. I already know. Because the style, the style make fights. And Alex is getting better, and better, and better, man. The guy’s IQ, fighting IQ, is so high. He’s so smart. You don’t understand. This guy is a genius when it come to fight, man.”
Teixeira insinuated that Pereira's still evolving as an MMA fighter, particularly in the grappling realm. 'Poatan' is relatively new to the sport of MMA with only six professional bouts, two of which he has had in the UFC and has come out victorious. Regardless, he emphasized that Pereira is a fast learner. Teixeira recalled that 'Poatan' was notably lauded by former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida as well..
Apparently, 'The Dragon' once recalled that Pereira spoke about martial arts nuances which only Machida’s veteran martial artist father used to speak about. Teixeira continued:
“For Adesanya, he was ready before he got in the UFC. He was ready for the first fight he had in the UFC. Because of their style. I don’t think Adesanya have the ground [game] to beat him or take; this is going to be striking there.”
Watch Teixeira’s conversation with Helwani in the video below:
Chael Sonnen warns of a potential upset for Israel Adesanya vs. Jared Cannonier
Glover Teixeira will defend his UFC light heavyweight belt against Jiri Prochazka at UFC 275 on June 11. Meanwhile, Israel Adesanya is scheduled to defend his UFC middleweight title against Jared Cannonier at UFC 276 on July 2. Additionally, Alex Pereira is set to fight Sean Strickland in a possible number-one contender’s middleweight bout on the same UFC 276 fight card.
Many believe that Adesanya beating Cannonier and Pereira defeating Strickland could lead to a much-awaited Adesanya-Pereira MMA matchup. However, Chael Sonnen recently cautioned that Cannonier is capable of beating Adesanya and upsetting the apple cart. Speaking to The Schmo, Sonnen said:
“While Adesanya is better, there is something about this that every upset in sport feels the way this fight feels. If Adesanya is not fully engaged in this, it's a hard night out. Cannonier is the No.1 contender for a reason, he's damn good."
Watch the full video with Sonnen and The Schmo below: