Adesanya's coach compares Alex Pereira to Mike Tyson ahead of UFC 287

Israel Adesanya’s coach compares Alex Pereira to Mike Tyson with his ‘superpower’ to deliver one-shot KO, but insists there will be only small tweaks to tactics for UFC 287 showdown in Miami

  • Israel Adesanya suffered late stoppage defeat by Alex Pereira to lost title 
  • The Nigerian-born Kiwi will have shot at revenge in main event of UFC 287 
  • His coach Eugene Bareman insists they will only make small changes to strategy 

Israel Adesanya is preparing for one of the toughest challenges in combat sport in facing Alex Pereira, admitted his coach Eugene Bareman. 

Pereira beat the Nigerian-born Kiwi twice in kickboxing before forcing a stoppage to win the UFC middleweight title from his old rival last year. 

The duo will run it back at UFC 287 in Miami and Bareman has spoken about the challenge in preparing for someone with the rare ability of the Brazilian. 

He told It’s Time For Sports: ‘One of the hardest things in the sport is to fight someone like Pereira. People like him don’t really exist. 

‘In your fighting career, you will fight one or two guys like that. One George Foreman, one Mike Tyson. If you’re lucky you’ll fight one of them. It is one of the hardest things to do in the sport because even though you see many clear paths to victory, they have a special gift. And that special gift is powerful. 

Eugene Bareman (right) says the gameplan for Israel Adesanya (left) will not change much 

Adesanya was stopped by his Brazilian opponent and lost his middleweight title last year

‘The ability to take you out with one shot has to be respected and is a superpower that not everybody has. 

‘So I understand the magnitude of what we’re trying to do and we’re up for the challenge.’

Adesanya was ahead on the scorecards and heading to victory last time out before Pereira pounced in the fifth round to find a finish. 

He will feel confident of victory if he can evade the concussive blows coming his way again and Bareman says the strategy will remain largely the same. 

He went on: ‘I think we thrive on challenges, with more risk comes more reward. You probably get better fighting guys and losing than others you comfortably win against

‘Izzy is going well. We need the time we’ve got to polish off a few things and we’re not going to reinvent the wheel, that would be silly. 

‘We felt we did remarkably well in a lot of spots in that last fight. 

‘It’s just about trying to build on that and that’s what we’ve done, putting something together that will get the job done. We understand the magnitude of what we’re trying to do.’

Adesanya is looking to exact revenge and beat Pereira for the first time in his career 

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