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‘The power lies with Alex’ - Jared Cannonier talks Adesanya vs. Pereira ahead of UFC 281

The one-time title challenger gave his thoughts on the upcoming UFC middleweight championship fight. 

Jared Cannonier at the press conference for UFC 276.
Jared Cannonier at the press conference for UFC 276.
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Who has the advantage between Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira at UFC 281? Let Jared Cannonier answer that question.

The ‘Last Stylebender’ is 0-2 against ‘Po Atan’ in kickboxing, losing once by decision and once by knockout. However, with this upcoming fight in MMA, Cannonier told Helen Yee that fans should favor the champ here, especially since he has far more experience in the sport.

“It definitely favors Izzy more,” Cannonier said of the upcoming middleweight title fight. “He’s been here longer. He’s had all these five-round championship fights with the best in our sport, so it’s definitely different. He definitely has the experience in that regard. He’s altered his kickboxing style more for MMA. Alex still has sort of a kickboxing base, if you will, in his stance. Not to say that it’s a detriment to him, but it can be exploited as far as MMA goes. I think the advantage lies with Israel in that regard.”

That said, the ‘Killa Gorilla’ also noted the power of Pereira could be an X-factor. His vaunted left hook has served him well in the ring and the Octagon, so Cannonier would not be surprised to see it on display when he fights Adesanya again.

“The power lies with Alex, for sure,” said Cannonier. “They’re both the same size. Alex is definitely going to be a denser opponent, so he’s probably a little bit heavier. It’s definitely going to be an exciting fight.”

Adesanya defended his UFC middleweight championship for the sixth time against Cannonier, who he bested by unanimous decision at UFC 276 this past July. On that same night, Pereira earned a championship opportunity with a first-round KO of Sean Strickland.

Following their respective losses, Cannonier and Strickland are expected to headline the final UFC Fight Night event of the year: UFC Vegas 66 on Dec. 17 at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas.