Glover Teixeira believes Israel Adesanya is shaking in his boots now that Alex Pereira is officially a UFC fighter.
The kickboxing phenomenon (3-1 MMA) is set to make his promotional debut when he takes on Andreas Michailidis at UFC 268.
Pereira is best known in MMA circles for scoring two wins over “Stylebender” in Glory. The Brazilian first beat Adesanya by decision in 2016 before cold knocking him out in their 2017 rematch.
During a recent appearance on MMA Fighting‘s Portuguese-language podcast Trocação Franca, Teixeira said he believed Adesanya feared a third fight with his training partner.
“Dad is in the UFC,” Teixeira said. “Adesanya doesn’t want to talk about it, ‘This guy just arrived,’ but he knows it’s hard for him. No one gives Adesanya at 185 more problems than him. I’m not saying he does. gonna win, it’s another fight, another time, another style, but Adesanya has to pray, “For god’s sake, put someone like Phil Davis on this guy.”
“It hits your right rib and the left rib hurts,” Teixeira added with a laugh. “Adesanya is no match for him. First of all, he will arrive scared. [Pereira] knocked him out with 10 oz gloves. With four-ounce gloves on his hand now… And Adesanya doesn’t have the knockout power of Poatan. He’s good, don’t get me wrong, Adesanya is awesome, but he doesn’t hit like him. Adesanya hits like a normal guy, Poatan is not normal.
The middleweight king is arguably the best forward in MMA, but Teixeira expects Adesanya to try and fight Pereira if he clashes inside the Octagon.
“Adesanya doesn’t have a ground game, at least from what I saw in his last fight,” Teixeira said. “Adesanya has no land and no struggle to bring down Poatan. In fact, I think Poatan is better than him.
“I won’t tell you he’s one of the best, a ‘Jacare’ or Rodolfo Vieira on the pitch,” added Teixeira. “But he defends well on the ground, has a good defensive struggle and the way he moves on the feet makes it harder to reduce the distance. I have some good takedowns, but it’s hard to reach it. I expect him to do well in the UFC.
The UFC 267 headliner admits the road to a middleweight title won’t be easy for his friend.
“I think it’s harder to reach Adesanya than to fight him today,” Teixeira said. “If they put him against Adesanya from the start, I think it’s easier for him than getting to Adesanya. Styles make fights. For example, I beat Marreta ‘ [Thiago Santos] and Marreta knocked out Blachowicz, and Blachowicz knocked out a guy who beat me up, Corey Anderson.
“I said [Pereira] that hitting in MMA is a little different from hitting in kickboxing. You’re more relaxed in kickboxing, you don’t need too much footwork and things like that, and he knows it. He’s super smart, he’s a top athlete. He’s not just a kickboxer, he’s a top athlete with incredible power, incredible preparation, and I think he will do well in the UFC.
Do you agree with Glover Teixeira? Is Israel Adesanya worried about Alex Pereira signing with the UFC?