ISRAEL ADESANYA ‘doesn’t think’ former opponent Alex Pereira deserves a title shot if he gets past Sean Strickland this weekend.
Former Glory doubles champion Pereira can catapult himself into title contention early Sunday morning by defeating the in-form American at UFC 276 in Las Vegas.
UFC President Dana White has all but confirmed that the main card fight winner will score the next middleweight belt tear, which Adesanya will defend in the card’s flagship bout.
But The Last Stylebender believes it would be a bit unfair to give the Brazilian, who KO’d him in his last kickboxing match in 2017, a title shot after just three appearances in the promotion.
When asked if Pereira deserved a title shot so early in his UFC career, Adesanya, in his role as global brand ambassador for crypto casino and sports betting platform Stake.com, told SunSport, “I don’t think so.”
Newly-crowned light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka fought for the 205-pound title in three fights of his stint in the UFC, despite the Czech clubber having more than paid his dues outside of the mixed martial arts premier promotion.
Adesanya said: “Someone like Jiri, Jiri, fought MMA all over the world and fought extensively before jumping into the UFC.
“So he has an extensive background in MMA. Alex has him in kickboxing so it’s a whole different game.
“But if Jiri can fight for a title after two fights in the UFC, let Alex fight for a title too if he makes it.
“We’ll see how he wins first.
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The prospect of defending his title against the Pereira vs. Strickland winners in the winter excites Adesanya, who has back-to-back rematches with Marvin Vettori and Robert Whittaker.
He said: “It definitely gets me going. I like new blood, fresh blood.
“Even Pereira fighting him is still new blood because he didn’t see me in my element, which is real and out of whack in MMA.
“No pillows for the hands, straight, straight punch. Also, we also have the element of grappling, which will surprise him.
“Also, Sean Strickland is a guy who I think would play the game very well. He would be a good dance partner to fight against.
“And I love talking shitt against a guy who can speak s**t back.”
Before Adesanya can even think about taking on Pereira or Strickland, he must first face the in-form Jared Cannonier – who has won four of his last six by TKO.
But he expects a short and sweet night at the office and says of the fight: “It turned out beautifully like a masterpiece.
“I’m going to fuck him, mark my words.”
Israel Adesanya is an ambassador for Stake.com, one of the world’s leading and fastest growing cryptocurrency betting and gaming operators.
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https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5677985/ufc-276-israel-adesanya-alex-pereira-trilogy/ Israel Adesanya ‘doesn’t think’ Pereira will deserve a title shot with UFC 276 win over Strickland but has a trilogy in mind