Get ready for some numbers.
Both Adesanya and Pereira are former kickboxers with professional records of 75-5 for the New Zealander and 33-7 for the Brazilian. Dang.
So it isn’t surprising to me that Adesanya stated on the Flocombat podcast that he switched to MMA because he wanted a challenge. To stay in kickboxing would have been “the easy route.”
And in an interview with BT Sport, Pereira says he was convinced to swap while watching a matchup involving Glover Teixeira, a former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. Teixeria, also from Brazil, is now his MMA coach.
Adesanya, nicknamed “The Last Stylebender,” made his UFC debut in February 2018, while Pereira, also known as “Poatan,” made his in November 2021.
It’s a no-brainer that they wanted to join the UFC to compete against the toughest competition to prove themselves—it’s the goal.
At this day in their MMA career, Adesanya has 23 wins under his belt with two losses—one to Jan Blachowicz and the other to, you guessed it, Pereira. The Poatan has only fought eight times in MMA, with seven victories and one loss to Quemuel Ottoni.
Now, by looking at those numbers, it’s somewhat difficult to determine who is the better MMA athlete.
Pereira has great strength, power, and tenacity. It’s no secret that he’s known for his knockouts.
But, at the same time, Adesanya has more wins, more experience in cage fighting, and a superior skill set. His timing, his striking, his grappling, and his endurance all make him the exceptional athlete he is.
People might think Pereira has The Last Stylebender’s number, but Adesanya (and myself) say otherwise.