UFC champ Israel Adesanya predicts Jan Blachowicz will take down Alex Pereira, ‘beat him up there’

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya expects Jan Blachowicz to lean on his wrestling against Alex Pereira.

Former champ Blachowicz (29-9-1 MMA, 12-6 UFC) welcomes Pereira (7-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) to the light heavyweight division in the UFC 291 co-headliner on July 29 at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City.

Adesanya (23-2 MMA, 12-2 UFC) experienced his first-career loss to Blachowicz in 2021, when he moved up and failed in his bid to become dual champ. Blachowicz took Adesanya down three times and out-struck him overall en route to a lopsided unanimous decision win – and Adesanya thinks Blachowicz will do the same to Pereira.

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“I think Jan is gonna take him down and just beat him up there,” Adesanya said on his YouTube channel. “Jan will stand with him for a bit but eventually just get him to the fence or try to take him down the way he took me down. I don’t think he’s gonna shoot, so he’s either gonna get him to the fence.”

Adesanya, who reclaimed his middleweight title from Pereira by knockout at UFC 287, admits Blachowicz surprised him with his game plan when they fought.

“It wasn’t frustrating at the time because I was still catching him sometimes, but also it’s respect,” Adesanya said. “I thought he was gonna come and fight the way he normally fights, but he did that at the right times and took me down. So, yeah, he (Blachowicz) could get caught coming in. It depends. What if he gets him down and keeps him down? I don’t know, we’ll have to see.”

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For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 291.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie