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Why Pereira-Adesanya IV is UFC’s Best Bet

Immediate Rematch Could Be PPV Bonanza

Why Pereira vs Adesanya IV Should Happen

One does not simply make a fourth fight between two fighters. While a rematch will technically only be the second time Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira meet in the octagon, it is the fourth time in total. And Pereira has won all three. But with the UFC betting lines already offering odds on this, there is plenty of appetite for this immediate rematch. It’s still the best fight to make at 185 pounds.

Let’s check the latest UFC picks, stats, and UFC predictions. We’ve plenty of UFC expert picks for you to consider.

Why Pereira-Adesanya IV is UFC’s Best Bet
Alex Pereira & Israel Adesanya - jamie squire / getty images north america / getty images via afp

All Their Fights Feature Drama

Over a month following his third straight defeat to his archrival, Adesanya has rewatched his knockout loss over 20 times, as he mentioned on his YouTube channel, FREESTYLEBENDER.

I don’t know, about 20 just on Instagram,” Adesanya began when asked the question. “On the ‘gram, I’ve seen it because you get tagged in videos and s*** and you’re just like ‘huh,’ so I watched it, I’m sure just over 20 or so times.

Few can fathom what the loss to Pereira must feel like for the former UFC middleweight champion. Not only did he lose his title and his undefeated record in the division, but he lost it to the same man that’s already beaten him twice in the past.

Even more painful for Adesanya is the manner in which he lost: by knockout in a fight he was winning on the scorecards. It is eerily similar to their second fight in GLORY where Adesanya hurt Pereira early in the fight, only for Pereira to rally and knock him out.

The fight was just as exciting as their previous two. And to add spice to their rivalry, both Adesanya and Pereira have traded barbs across social media and during press conferences. It doesn’t matter that they have a language barrier. Their jabs were felt outside the octagon.

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Adesanya” Legitimate Case to Be 3-0

This may be a stretch. But in another reality, it is Adesanya who is 3-0 against Pereira. There is a case to be made that Adesanya could have beaten Pereira.

In their first bout, which took place in 2016, Adesanya lost by a bogus decision. Most scored the bout in favor of Adesanya, who schooled the relatively new kickboxer. And in the infamous rematch, Adesanya had Pereira all but finished. The referee saved the Brazilian thanks to a standing-eight count. Finally, in their last fight, Pereira was saved by the bell.

On paper, Pereira seems to hold a dominant lead over Adesanya, but anyone paying attention to the fights would know that he’s prevailed by the skin of his teeth. Still, the fact Pereira has knocked out Adesanya twice goes to show that maybe he just has his number.

But the online sportsbook echoes this sentiment for Adesanya. The Nigerian-born New Zealand fighter was the favorite in their last fight and has now opened as another one in their potential rematch. Folks betting online will need to stake $150 to win $100 on Adesanya (-150).

Rematch will be Box-Office Success

Rematches are a dime-a-dozen in the UFC and for good reason: They sell. The promotion has not been shy in booking rematches, sometimes immediately. In the case of flyweight champ Deiveson Figueiredo, the UFC booked him four straight times against Brandon Moreno. Take a look at the pay-per-view buy rates of some of the UFC’s most popular rematches:

  • Poirier vs McGregor 2: 1.6M
  • Diaz vs McGregor 2: 1.6M
  • Poirier vs McGregor 3: 1.5M
  • Weidman vs Silva 2: 1M
  • Liddell vs Ortiz 2: 930K
  • Silva vs Sonnen 2: 925K
  • St-Pierre vs Penn 2: 920K
  • Cormier vs Jones 2: 860K

Of these fights, only Poirier-McGregor 3 did not outsell its predecessor. And in the case of all of these fighters (outside McGregor), this was their most lucrative bout with the UFC. The four highest-selling fights on this list were also immediate rematches.

In Pereira and Adesanya’s case, the UFC can strike while the iron is hot. Pereira is at his peak and looks like the unbeatable monster that Adesanya used to be. Booking him against another fighter runs the risk of him losing the title, similar to what happened with Holly Holm after she upset Ronda Rousey.

Adesanya already believed his bout with Pereira sold a million PPV buys (official numbers not yet available). If it sold around that number, the rematch could just become the biggest PPV event since Poirier-McGregor’s trilogy. As far as the biggest fight to make right now, this is the best UFC bet.

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