Tobechi Michael Obinwanne
When Poatan (Alex Pereira) joined the UFC, the only thing he had to his name was that he was the only man to ever KO Izzy, and it is the only reason his pace to the top was fast-tracked.
But let us cut to the chase.
Pereira’s most potent weapons are his switch knee with the left knee and his left hook (the weapon that slept Izzy the last time they met). He is also a heavier puncher. He sets up his left hook by using body shots to force his opponent to lower the right guard and create an opening for the left hook power punch. Alex is the only fighter who matches Israel’s physique, for physique, in the UFC’s Middleweight. The dude can brawl and likes to push forward and fight from the inside.
Izzy! Lil’ bro is the baddest Middleweight in MMA on the planet. He needs no introduction. Adesanya has speed, better striking technique and one-inch reach advantage. He also has better strike and takedown defences.
This fight could go either way. If Israel steps out of character, gets too excited, fights in a brawl, or loses concentration, he will lose via KO. The only two ways he wins are either through (1)counterstriking or (2)fighting from the outside while constantly moving and staying out of brawl range, or both. Israel has better cardio. With Pereira struggling to gain weight, he would need to do a lot of rehydrating to be in optimal fighting condition.
How will it end? Honestly, Isreal has levelled up and stepped up so much since their last bout in Kickboxing, and so has Alex! According to the stats and data, Israel wins, and the bookmakers book him as a -200 favourite. But I think it is a close call. I would rather say 52: 48 probability in favour of Izzy.
O! Lest I forget, Zhang Weili will win Carla Esparaza. Zhang has a very high strength-to-mass ratio that Esparaza will find difficult to contend with.
As for Poirier and Chandler, I will need another post to explain that if I have the time.