Despite their timelines being different and the sports they compete in, current UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, revealed his interest to have competed against former Boxing world champion, Prince Naseem Hamed.
‘The Last Stylebender’ will enter the octagon once again in the early hours of Sunday morning when he looks to add a sixth successful title defence to his impressive resume. Faced with his toughest test to date Adesanya will meet former kickboxing foe, Alex Pereira, in the main-event matchup at UFC 281.
A slick striker in himself, Adesanya sits at the pinnacle of the sport in terms of his striking attributes and competes with such a technical style often leaving his opponents questioning their own abilities. One man who shared this ability to bamboozle his opponents is the former WBO, IBF, and WBC featherweight champion and boxing legend, Prince Naseem Hamed.
Speaking in an interview with The Sun, Adesanya revealed his admiration for the boxing icon and his desire to have been able to test himself against someone of Hamed’s ability.
‘I would have liked to have fought Prince Naseem Hamed. Just because I liked his style, his cadence, his rhythm, his showmanship, everything. So, I would have liked to test myself against that guy.’ (Transcribed by SportsKeeda)
Prince Naseem similarly to Adesanya had only suffered one defeat during his illustrious professional career coming at the hands of fellow Boxing great, Marco Antonio Barrera. Hamed was admired for the way he competed in a water-like state, flowing within the boxing ring, and providing clinical displays much to the displeasure of his opponents.
Israel Adesanya prepared for war at UFC 281
Israel Adesanya has prepared himself to do whatever is necessary to emerge victorious at UFC 281. During his reign at the top of the middleweight division, Adesanya has been near untouchable fending off any and all challengers that have come his way in the 185-pound division.
Now, as he prepares to face a man who has beaten him twice in Alex Pereira, the current middleweight champion has braced himself for war as he aims to avenge his two previous defeats at the hands of the Brazilian.
“I want to make this a horror movie.”
“I want to be the first person he sees when he wakes up. I want to make sure I’m right in his line of sight so he’s looking at me,” Israel Adesanya said.
The Lagos Nigeria native will be looking to exact his revenge and shut the lights out of Pereira as he aims to continue his domination of the middleweight division and silence any of those who still doubt him.
Will Israel Adesanya retain his middleweight title at UFC 281?