Robert Whittaker wonders how Alex Pereira fares against Israel Adesanya with smaller gloves
What will be the deciding factor in a potential fight between Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira? The gloves, says Robert Whittaker.
Adesanya and Pereira have fought kickboxing twice, with ‘Poatan’ defeating ‘The Last Stylebender’ once by decision in 2016 and once by knockout in 2017. Now, several years after those outings, the duo are on a collision course. to fight again after their respective wins over Jared Cannonier and Sean Strickland at UFC 276.
This time Adesanya vs. Pereira is mixed martial arts and the former UFC middleweight champion sees this as a much more different fight given the decreased glove size.
“Man, it’s an interesting fight because I guess a big thing is going to be how Alex takes punches, how he handles Adesanya’s shots with the smaller gloves,” Whittaker said on Submission Radio. “Because it’s not like Adesanya had trouble hitting Alex in their kickboxing fight.
“So we’ll see how he takes the hits,” Whittaker continued. “But like I said, Adesanya has one of the best defensive strikes in the game. I can’t wait to fight actually. It’s hitting and kicking each other high in the sky, so it’ll be fun.
Despite being 0-2 against Pereira, Adesanya found success in those fights, but the now viral knockout often overshadows him. The reigning UFC middleweight champion implored fans to watch these performances to understand how a fight with the No. 6 ranked contender would play out now, especially in this sport.
And when they share the Octagon, Adesanya has a different outcome in mind.
“This TikTok generation has a 15-second memory so they forget,” Adesanya said at a UFC press conference in June. “All they see is the knockout, but they didn’t watch the first fight or even watch the second fight before the finish. It’s not kickboxing, it’s mixed martial arts. And they’re not big pillow gloves, they’re deadly four ounce weapons and I can’t wait to get him through his face after he’s gone through Jared Cannonier.
Adesanya recently confirmed that his next defense is against Pereira but did not give a soon to be announced date for the fight.