Israel Adesanya thinks Jiri Prochazka will reclaim the light heavyweight title at UFC 295.
Prochazka (29-3-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) meets Alex Pereira (8-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) for the vacant 205-pound belt in Saturday’s headliner at Madison Square Garden in New York. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPNews and early prelims on ESPN+.
Former UFC middleweight champion Adesanya has a rich history with Pereira. They’ve fought four times – twice in kickboxing and twice in MMA. Adesanya finally was able to get a win over Pereira when he knocked him out at UFC 287, which prompted “Poatan” to move up a division.
“I’ll say Pereira is a special human being – not just a fighter, a special human being,” Adesanya said on his YouTube channel. “I’ll say that because I’ve been in there with him many times – a special human being, and he’s got a special ability when it comes to putting people to sleep.
“He can do it to anyone. His story is very impressive, what he’s done in kickboxing, coming to the UFC and hunting me down, getting hunted and then going up to 205 now and looking to claim a second belt.”
Despite the high praise for his former foe, Adesanya thinks Prochazka will be able to tame Pereira’s power. He doesn’t see the fight going the distance.
“It’s a hard fight for both men. But again, it’s a hard fight for Jiri because of that time bomb,” Adesanya said. “You can diffuse the bomb – that’s the thing. You have to find out how to diffuse the bomb. It’s exciting, but regardless, I’m going with Jiri Prochazka.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 295.
Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie