Can Israel Adesanya be hailed as the GOAT of the Middleweight division after his win against Alex Pereira?
Israel is definitely up there in the GOAT conversation, but he has to surpass what Anderson Silva did in order to be called the GOAT. He could move up to 205lbs and win the belt there, then you can call him the best ever, but until then, he has more work to do.’
Who do you think would win in a potential trilogy bout?
Both Israel and Alex Pereira are so good in the ring together, so it’s a great question about the trilogy. One minute Israel wins, the next Alex wins.
I think that Adesanya is the better MMA fighter while Pereira has shown that he is one of the best strikers ever. He did beat Israel three times before, so it is 50-50 at this point.
There was controversy surrounding the placement of Raul Rosas Jr. on the main card over names like Kelvin Gastelum. What’s your opinion on that decision?
In the case of Raul, I see that the UFC wants to build stars. I have actually trained with Christian Rodriguez, his opponent, and he is really good. He is young and a great striker. I truly believed that as soon as he got past the first round that he was going to beat Raul and that’s exactly what happened. He broke him and then he took over the fight.
Raul is a great kid with a bright future ahead of him, but he definitely has to fix some things. When you have a young guy fighting a seasoned veteran it is almost unfair. He was only 18 years old fighting big men. He needs a lot of work on the feet, and his approach to the game has to change. Against Christian, he gassed too quickly and couldn’t adjust to what was happening and ended up losing.
Despite your controversial bout with Paddy Pimblett, do you think he’s also a hype train?
I think he still has to prove himself because I definitely beat him. He knows it as well and that’s why he is calling me out from his hospital bed after ankle surgery. If I think I beat somebody and I just had surgery, you’re the last person I want to be thinking about, let alone post a video about. If you think you beat me, why would you want to fight me again?
However, he could prove that there is a reason for the hype. He is talented and has a good skillset. He does have some holes, though, but that’s what fighting is about. You get better with each one.
What are some of Paddy’s weaknesses?
Against Paddy, I was throwing my left hand at will. He kept his hands really low. I was parrying and blocking most of his shots, he only landed one or two. I had a scratch on my hand that looked bad in the fight, but I went back and had a shower and it only proved to be a little scratch, so I don’t understand why he bragged about making me bleed. His wrestling needs work, and he also carries his chin too high in the air.