On July 2, Adesanya will defend his middleweight title against Jared Cannonier in the main event of UFC 276. Also on the main card, Alex Pereira, a two-time prior kickboxing opponent of Adesanya’s, will battle fellow surging contender Sean Strickland at the T-Mobile Arena for another chance to face “The Last Stylebender,” this time for UFC gold.
If both Adesanya and Pereira win, the UFC will most likely move in that direction. At a UFC press conference on Tuesday, Adesanya seemed to enjoy the prospect of fighting the man who had twice defeated him in kickboxing.
“This isn’t kickboxing, this is mixed martial arts,” Adesanya explained. “These ain’t big pillow gloves, these are four ounce deadly weapons that I can’t wait to drive through his face after I go through Jared Cannonier.”
If Strickland wins his fight with Pereira, Adesanya would be quite content with that choice if he beats Cannonier. However, given their past, it appears that he has his sights set on Pereira.