Boardroom opens the Multiverse of Madness to explore EVERYTHING that could happen in the Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira main event at UFC 281 on Nov. 12.
In the latest installment of Boardroom’s Multiverse of Madness, MMA fans witness two men cross paths for the second time in a second discipline. Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will take on Alex Pereira in the main event of UFC 281 for the organization’s coveted title.
Historically, Pereira earned the one-up over Adesanya after knocking him out in a kickboxing match turned viral moment in 2017. Nearly five years later, Adesanya has claimed the top of the UFC Apex.
After demonstrating himself as an elite striker and dominant champion, the shadow of Pereira has made his way back to Israel. Despite Pereira’s knockout over Adesanya happening in the past, the entire internet exhibits a constant reminder of the moment. With over 14 million views of the original viral video, the main event boils down to a story of redemption for the champion and validation for the challenger.
FanDuel has set the lines of the flight relatively close, with Israel Adesanya (-210) as the betting favorite against the challenger Alex Pereira (+162), signaling the dangers of Poatan’s kickboxing pedigree, despite a small sample size of MMA experience. Each adversary approaches fighting with an emphasis on technical, punishing kickboxing. The idea of the bout hitting the canvas isn’t impossible, but it would be unexpected and out of the realm of each fighter’s tendencies.
Therefore, we open our Multiverse of Madness to explore every possible fight result, from ultra-realistic outcomes to unquestionably abnormal outcomes that could change the entire landscape of the middleweight division’s history and the perception of Adesanya’s career with the help of our friends at FanDuel Sportsbook.
(The odds listed below were as of Nov. 11 but are subject to change ahead of the fight.)
Most Likely Adesanya Victory Scenario: Points
FanDuel Odds: +130
In a sport filled with zany fighter nicknames, Adesanya fully lives up to his “Stylebender” moniker. His striking can be described with as many adjectives as your heart desires: crisp, efficient, accurate, powerful, and calculated. It makes sense that the most likely path to victory would be Adesanya’s styling on Poatan, based on various factors.
Adesanya has become the poster child for outstanding fight IQ and the need to make critical adjustments in real time. It doesn’t take Stylebender long to download the tendencies of his opponent’s feints, combination repetition, and sequences before he can decipher when and where to strike, especially if he previously experienced stretches of ring time against his opponent.
Pereira is also significant for the middleweight division and has verified harsh weight cuts of over 30 pounds. His initial troubles on the scale before successfully making a weigh-in weight indicate the possibility that he may not last five rounds.
If that happens, expect Adesanya to return to an exciting form. A current streak of four decision outcomes has begun to concern the viewing audience. However, a definitive, exciting fifth decision fueled by dominance could rectify recent doubts.
Most Likely Pereira Victory Scenario: Knockout
FanDuel Odds: +270
If it happened once, it could happen again. Pereira may not even be in this position if he had never previously knocked out the current champion. Whether kickboxing or MMA, Poatan has made Adesanya experience his power on full display, creating a moment that remains replayed to this day.
After completely dismantling Stean Strickland at UFC 276, the Brazillian let the UFC audience know that his MMA power can reliably take out ranked contenders. Pereira winning would be shocking in general, but if it were to occur by knockout, it would be nothing that a true-fight fan has never witnessed.
Shocking-but-possible Outcome: Adesanya by Submission
FanDuel Odds: +1400
Adesanya is a complete MMA fighter. Throughout his MMA career, Israel has only attempted three takedowns, each a failure. However, now he’s facing an opponent who is tenured in kickboxing with relatively minimal ground experience.
Sure, Adesanya is known for his elite striking abilities. However, he’s a newly appointed purple belt who relishes opportunities to showcase his training to the world. If the fight hits the ground, the world will be shocked. But if he were to work his BJJ and make easy work against Pereira, the entire division would notice that he can finish fights everywhere.
MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS Mind-blowing Scenario: Pereira by Submission
FanDuel odds: +2600
Imagine if Pereira once again defeats Adesanya at the highest stage of his own game. Whether or not we try to avoid it, this fight feels like an MMA fighter with elite striking versus a dangerous, decorated kickboxer.
The world views Adesanya as one of the best strikers on the planet, and Pereira can confidently say that he’s conquered that challenge. Now imagine the scenes if he takes down the new purple belt, which he once virally finished, and does it again on the ground.
Such a finish could haunt Adesanya for the rest of his career regarding all-time greatness. No matter what he accomplished past that point, fans would always recollect the moments when he was finished twice by the same man in two different ways.
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