Israel Adesanya believes Sean Strickland can beat Alex Pereira if he "puts his ego aside"

Sean Strickland (top left), Alex Pereira (bottom left), and Israel Adesanya (R) [Images courtesy: @sstricklandmma, @alexpoatanpereira, @stylebender on Instagram]
Sean Strickland (top left), Alex Pereira (bottom left), and Israel Adesanya (R) [Images courtesy: @sstricklandmma, @alexpoatanpereira, @stylebender on Instagram]

Israel Adesanya is preparing to defend his middleweight belt, but the champ also has thoughts on this weekend's potential title eliminator.

Sean Strickland is looking to test his skills against Alex Pereira at UFC 276 on July 2nd, the same event where Adesanya will look to notch his fifth title defense against Jared Cannonier.

Adesanya broke down this consequential clash at middleweight via his Youtube channel, Free Stylebender.

Watch the video below:

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Adesanya had the following to say when asked, "What's next?" during the sit-down interview:

"It's a peek. Probably the winner of Sean Strickland or (Alex) Pereira. That's what I see."

In terms of the specific machinations of the matchup and how they will inform the bout between the two contenders, Israel Adesanya said:

"F*ck, if (Sean) Strickland just puts his ego aside and actually does what he needs to do, he might win this fight. But I feel like (Alex) Pereira is just going to be too much for him in the beginning, and he might get dropped and knocked out."

Strickland has an overall MMA record of 25-3 (12-3 specifically in the UFC).

The former KOTC middleweight champion is looking to add some UFC gold to his mantle.

Pundits and fans alike are quite intrigued by the parity of the Strickland versus Pereira fight. The bout is rather unusual, pitting the No.4-ranked contender against an unrankedked 185 pounder, respectively.

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Strickland would represent a fresh matchup for Adesanya inside the octagon.

While that could also be said of Pereira, the surging middleweight and Adesanya have a combative history together.


Israel Adesanya's old kickboxing adversary

Pereira is known for having beaten Adesanya in multiple kickboxing competitions.

He holds a pair of victories over 'The Last Stylebender': the first via unnanimous decision at Glory of Heroes 1, followed by a stoppage win at Glory of Heroes 15.

'Poatan' has an overall pro MMA record of 5-1, accruing back-to-back wins under the UFC banner.

If Israel Adesanya emerges unscathed after his fifth defense of his undisputed title, an intriguing next contender awaits.

Regardless of who wins, the bout between Strickland and Pereira is one to keep an eye on.

What are your feelings on Adesanya's breakdown of Strickland versus Pereira?Give us your thoughts in the comments!

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Edited by kennedyking2016