Israel Adesanya is a hot prospect glowing on the UFC’s radar, and the 28-year-old will look to dazzle fans in his upcoming middleweight bout with Brad Tavares at The Ultimate Fighter 27 in July.
Adesanya has won all but one of his fights via TKO/KO, with the lone split decision coming against Marvin Vettori at UFC on FOX 29.
Adesanya couldn’t quite find his groove in that fight, but ‘The Last Stylebender’ promises to return to top form against Tavares at Las Vegas’ Pearl Theatre.
Adensaya chalked his underwhelming performance at UFC on FOX 29 down to Vettori’s unorthodox style, and believes Tavares will be much ‘easier to read’ on July 6.
“Brad, I think is gonna be easier than my last opponent, just because I’ve seen that style so many times,” Adesanya told Ariel Helwani on a recent edition of The MMA Hour, per MMA Fighting’s Marc Raimondi. “I’ve read that stuff so many times. That’s nothing to me. My last opponent, Marvin Vettori, was an awkward, weird southpaw and I was able to read things on the fly with him. Brad, I’ve seen that style many, many times, so it’s going to be easier to read this book.”
Adesanya, who is also a highly touted professional kickboxer, will meet Tavares in the main event at The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale and doesn’t think the Hawaiian will make it past the third round.
“Look at Brad, the way he’s fought,” he said. “His last fight was his first finish in seven years. His chin isn’t as durable as Marvin. I don’t like to say things like that, because no one has a chin. Everyone has a button, it’s just how you can find that button. His button, his style with his stance, is easier to find than Marvin’s button.
“I’ll give it less than three rounds. Less than three rounds. The way he likes to throw, he’s from Hawaii. He’s a heavy guy when he throws. He’s a scrapper. So, we could scrap.”
Although he’s oozing with confidence, Adesanya is not taking Tavares lightly and knows the eight-year UFC veteran will be his ‘toughest test to date’. Tavares is currently riding a four-fight win streak and cracked the top-ten with his TKO of Krzysztof Jotko earlier this year.
“It’s hard to keep feeding me guys that aren’t in the same kind of echelon as me, which I don’t really feel like there is yet,” he said. “Brad is a good fight, good test. It’ll be my toughest test to date. I’ll get past him and move forward.”
The Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale will feature Tavares vs. Adesanya as the main event, and takes place on July 6 at the Pearl Theatre in Las Vegas, Nevada.