Israel Adesanya’s coach, Eugene Bareman, is already looking forward to a rematch with reigning UFC middleweight champion Alex Pereira. The City Kickboxing founder recently spoke with Submission Radio, saying they are “quietly confident” about another go-around, should it happen.
“We’re quietly confident. You gotta understand, we were winning that fight relatively comfortably,” he said. “We felt we were taking the rounds. But not comfortable enough – when you’re fighting somebody like that, whose game plan appears to be, it’s not a guy who builds his game plan around accumulation of damage.
“He’s a guy that builds his gameplan around mentally wearing down and trying to land one big shot. And he’s comfortable giving rounds and then not panicking because he gives away rounds and it’s part of a bigger picture for him.
“Setting up what he ultimately is looking for. And with a few adjustments, we can make some changes there and build on a lot of positive things that happened in that fight for us.”
“The Last Stylebender was stopped via TKO in round five, something he says was a bit premature. Bareman, however, does not have a problem with it at all.
“The body ultimately is not designed to take blunt force trauma like that. So, yeah. And people’s expectations of teams and families and friends and fighters, it’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous, ‘cause every punch you receive to the head, unfortunately, what’s becoming more and more clear as time goes on, and we invest a lot more time and money into studying this, unfortunately, every punch we receive to the head, it looks like it does permanent damage and irreversible damage.
“So, we have to take this very seriously. And I’m not gonna disagree with you, there was a chance that Israel may have made some sort of recovery and carried on. But at the end of the day, I deemed it, and Marc Goddard had deemed that there was a greater chance that he may have been hurt even worse than he was.
“ So, that’s why I said I was happy with the stoppage. And at the end of the day, we lived to fight another day. Israel seems to be healthy, healthy and happy, and enthusiastic to get on with business. So yeah, I think it’s the right call.”
Adesanya is so far 0-3 against Pereira in both kickboxing and MMA. After UFC 281, his record dropped to 23-2.