UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya dropped his prediction for the upcoming light heavyweight fight between Jan Blachowicz and Alex Pereira.
Pereira will make his light heavyweight debut when he takes on former 205-pound champion Blachowicz in the co-main event of UFC 291 which takes place July 29 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Adesanya is uniquely the only fighter to have faced both men and so, his perspective is especially interesting. That’s even more so the case considering he had a somewhat surprising prediction for the fight.
“I think Jan is gonna take him down and just beat him up there,” Adesanya said on his YouTube channel (via MMA Junkie). “Jan will stand with him for a bit but eventually just get him to the fence or try to take him down the way he took me down. I don’t think he’s gonna shoot, so he’s either gonna get him to the fence.”
Adesanya notably moved up to challenge for the light heavyweight title when Blachowicz was champion back in 2021. However, the latter ended up outstriking him and nullifying him by taking him down three times on his way to a unanimous decision victory.
Although Adesanya’s prediction is not a surprising one game plan-wise as Blachowicz is likely to do the same to Pereira, it’s surprising since most fighters tend to prop up the opponents who have beaten them — especially with how Pereira has done it in comprehensive fashion more than once.
Blachowicz is also 40 with his only win in his last three outings coming because of a knee injury to his opponent.
However, Adesanya feels Pereira will still fall victim to Blachowicz’s game plan — something that caught him by surprise two years ago.
“It wasn’t frustrating at the time because I was still catching him [Blachowicz] sometimes, but also it’s respect,” Adesanya continued. “I thought he was gonna come and fight the way he normally fights, but he did that at the right times and took me down.
“So, yeah, he (Blachowicz) could get caught coming in. It depends. What if he gets him down and keeps him down? I don’t know, we’ll have to see.”