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UFC 287 tips: Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya battle for more than the belt in the main event

A rivalry beginning on the kickboxing circuit continues in the UFC 287 main event as Alex “Poatan” Pereira rematches Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya for the UFC middleweight title.

This will be the fourth time Pereira and Adesanya have squared off as professional athletes, with Pereira winning both kickboxing contests under the "Glory of Heroes" promotion as well as their first fight in the UFC.
A clean sweep of performances would be catastrophic for Adesanya, dropping four fights to the same opponent is not a good look regardless of whether they were all MMA contests, so losing this fight will almost assuredly keep him out of the title picture for the foreseeable future.
With both men sporting highly successful kickboxing backgrounds its highly unlikely grappling will be at the forefront of either man's gameplan for this fight, however it could be the difference maker if Adesanya were to come out with his wrestling shoes on.
Training alongside current UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski, Adesanya has access to one of the finest wrestlers in the UFC, and with Pereira currently getting the better of Adesanya on the feet utilizing Volkanovski's grappling expertise could be vital in claiming victory.
Pereira's biggest weakness is his inexperience, training alongside former UFC light-heavyweight champion Glover Teixeira will have sharpened his grappling but there is no substitute for in cage experience, and his total of eight career contests in MMA makes him one of the most inexperienced fighters on the roster.

A huge amount of pride is at stake in this contest, a victory for Pereira decimates his rival's confidence and proves he is the better of the two fighters, a victory for Adesanya gives him back his middleweight title and closes the gap between him and his longtime rival.

Key stats

Adesanya hasn't finished a fight since defeating Paulo Costa at UFC 253, nine months before Pereira even made his UFC debut.
Pereira lost his most recent rematch in kickboxing to Artem Vakhitov in his final fight before entering the UFC.

Suggested bets

Alex Pereira to win the fight.
The fight to go the distance.

READ MORE: UFC 287 tips: Young starlet Raul Rosas Jr looks to impress again against Christian Rodriguez

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