A rivalry which spanned four fights across two different combat sports reached a resolution, for now at least, back in April.
Israel Adesanya gained revenge for his only middleweight defeat in MMA, as well as a pair of losses during their kickboxing days, when he landed a nuclear right hand in the second round of his rematch with then-champion Alex Pereira in Miami, Florida, sending one of the sport’s most decorated strikers cascading to the canvas (and up to the light heavyweight division).
Adesanya will take on the first defence of his second reign as champion in Sydney, Australia on September 10 when he fights Sean Strickland, the surging middleweight contender previously referred to as Adesanya’s biggest challenge at 185-pounds by, of all people, Alex Pereira — who owns a knockout win over the American.
“Fighting Israel Adesanya is always a hard fight, but he showed that he can be beaten,” Pereira told the media, including The Mac Life, through his interpreter at the UFC 291 media day last month. “Sean Strickland, he has a chance. Different game plans are hard. But if anyone has a chance against Adesanya, that’ll be Sean Strickland. But it’s still a hard fight.
“100% If Sean Strickland put in the work, he should [win].”
But Adesanya will, of course, have something to say about that — and you can relive exactly how he dispatched the Brazilian to reclaim the middleweight crown in the video below: