ISRAEL ADESANYA plans to showcase his “unhinged striking” in his eagerly-anticipated showdown with Alex Pereira.
The dominant middleweight champion will UFC 281 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Adesanya and Pereira, 33 and 35, know each other well from their time in GLORY – fighting twice in the Singapore-based kickboxing promotion.
Nigerian-born New Zealander Adesanya lost both bouts – the second via knockout – and is relishing the opportunity to exact his revenge inside the octagon.
The Last Stylebender told SunSport: “It definitely gets me up. I like new blood, fresh blood.
“Even Pereira, fighting him is still new blood because he hasn’t seen me in my element which is real, unhinged striking in MMA.”
Glove size could be a significant factor in Adesanya and Pereira’s third encounter – with the 4oz gloves used by the UFC leaving more openings than the 10oz ones used in GLORY.
And Adesanya – who badly hurt Pereira in the second round of their rematch – is looking forward to touching the Brazilian’s chin with less padding.
He said: “No pillows for hands, straight, straight striking.
“Also, we have the element of grappling as well, which he’ll be surprised about.”
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Adesanya is no stranger to the hallowed grounds of Madison Square Garden – the venue for his breakout octagon triumph.
The City Kickboxing standout passed his litmus test against divisional standout Derek Brunson with flying colours, stopping the American in the first round.
Adesanya answered all the questions his detractors had going into the fight, which he has fond memories of.
When asked if he’d ever reflected on winning at The Worlds’ Most Famous Arena, he said: “I smell the roses once in a while. And it smells good.
“It was something that was on my list. I felt like I stole the show that night.
“Even though DC [Daniel Cormier] beat Derrick Lewis that night in the main event.
“I still feel like I stole the show. It was one of my breakout performances. And to do that at an arena like MSG is historic.”
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