Pereira Looks for A Four-peat

By Ronan McEvoy

UFC 287 will occur this Saturday, April 8, in Miami, Florida. It will will feature the rematch for the UFC middleweight championship between Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya, as well as a welterweight bout between Gilbert Burns and Jorge Masvidal. 

This fight between Pereira and Adesanya will be the fourth time we see these two compete against one another. The first two times they fought against each other was in kickboxing, where Pereira won. The last time these two fought against each other was at UFC 281, where Pereira beat Adesanya by TKO in round five. 

After their last, fight the two shared a moment of respect in the octagon, but since then, their rivalry has stayed more vital than ever. Pereira has posted videos making fun of Adesanya’s love of anime and posted a video of the movie Conan the Destroyer and compared the looks of the character Zula to Adesanya. 

The last fight between these two was very close and could’ve gone either way if it had gone to a decision. What people seem to have forgotten about this fight was that Adesanya rocked Pereira at the end of the first round. If Adesanya can get in the pocket with Pereira, he may be able to slip and land that right hook behind the ear to Pereira away. This fight could also sway more in Adesanya’s favor if the fight goes into the championship rounds. IN the last battle, Adesanya looked a lot fresher going into the two rounds than Pereira was. 

“Yeah, I thought it was going to be a decision,” said Marc Cohen, a senior UFC fan. “Adesanya looked pretty sharp, and I thought Pereira was slowing down, but then he caught him with that crazy hook.” 

One thing that Pereira did in their last fight was checking all of Adesanya’s leg kicks. These played a massive role in the battle as Pereira slowed down Adesanya and made him worry about using his infamous kicks. By checking these kicks, Pereira also avoided his movement being altered, which helped him manage distance properly and set up combinations. 

The key for both fighters going into this fight, keeping their distance and trying to  cutting the other fighter’s mobility by either applying the pressure and keeping it in the pocket or chopping down the other fighter with leg kicks.

“I think Izzy will win,” said Chris Palko, a senior UFC fan. “I think he’s just a better fighter overall, and he’ll be prepared for whatever comes his way.” 

The co-main event will be a welterweight bout between Gilbert Burns and Jorge Masvidal. Going into this fight Burns is ranked five, and Masvidal is ranked eleven. The winner of this fight could potentially be next for a title shot. While they may not seem unlikely for an eleven-placed fighter, Masvidal has massive star power, and an impressive fight or finish could get him right back in the title picture. 

Both fighters are stand-up oriented but also have excellent backgrounds in both wrestling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu backgrounds. However, it is unlikely that this fight will be a wrestling match as both fighters have had their share of stand-up wars and seem to almost thrive in it. 

“I think people are sleeping on Burns,” said Tyler Mulhern, a senior UFC fan. “Burns’ stand-up against Khamzat was crazy, and I don’t know if Jorge can handle it.” 

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