The kickboxing phenom (3-1 MMA) is set to make his promotional debut when he takes on Andreas Michailidis at UFC 268.
Pereira is best known in MMA circles for picking up two wins over ‘Stylebender’ in Glory. The Brazilian first beat Adesanya by decision in 2016 before knocking him out cold in their 2017 rematch.
During a recent appearance on MMA Fighting’s Portuguese-language podcast Trocação Franca, Teixeira said he believes Adesanya fears a third fight with his training partner.
“Daddy’s in the UFC,” Teixeira said. “Adesanya doesn’t wanna talk about it, ‘This guy is just getting here,’ but he knows it’s a tough one for him. No one gives Adesanya more trouble at 185 than him. I’m not saying he’s going to win, it’s another fight, another time, another style, but Adesanya must be praying, ‘For the love of God, put someone like Phil Davis for this guy.”
“He hits your right rib and the left rib hurts,” Teixeira added with a laugh. “Adesanya is no match for him. First of all, he’ll be coming in sh*t-scared. [Pereira] knocked him out with 10-ounce gloves. With four-ounce gloves on his hand now… And Adesanya doesn’t have the knockout power Poatan has. He’s f*cking good, don’t get me wrong, Adesanya is awesome, but he doesn’t hit like him. Adesanya hits like a normal guy, Poatan is not normal.”
The middleweight king is arguably the best striker in MMA but Teixeira expects Adesanya would try to wrestle Pereira if they square off inside the Octagon.
“Adesanya has no ground game, at least based on what I saw in his last fight,” Teixeira said. “Adesanya has no ground and wrestling to take Poatan down. In fact, I think Poatan is better than him.”
“I won’t tell you he’s one of the best, a ‘Jacare’ or Rodolfo Vieira on the ground,” Teixeira added. “But he defends well on the ground, has good defensive wrestling, and the way he moves on the feet makes it tougher to close the distance. I have good takedowns, but it’s hard to get to him. I expect him to do well in the UFC.”
The UFC 267 headliner admits that the road to a middleweight title shot will not be easy for his friend.
“I do believe it’s tougher to get to Adesanya than fighting him today,” Teixeira said. “If they put him against Adesanya right off the bat, I believe it’s easier for him than getting to Adesanya. Styles make fights. For example, I beat Marreta’ [Thiago Santos] and Marreta knocked out Blachowicz, and Blachowicz knocked out a guy that defeated me, Corey Anderson.
“I told [Pereira] that striking in MMA is a bit different than striking in kickboxing. You’re more relaxed in kickboxing, you don’t need too much footwork and things like that, and he knows it. He’s super smart, he’s a high-level athlete. He’s not just a kickboxer, he’s a high-level athlete with incredible power, incredible preparation, and I believe he’ll do well in the UFC.”
Do you agree with Glover Teixeira? Is Israel Adesanya worried by Alex Pereira signing with the UFC?