UFC 276: Joe Rogan waxes lyrical over Israel Adesanya ahead of Jared Cannonier fight

  • Tom Ward

Israel Adesanya is the best striker in the UFC, according to MMA legend Joe Rogan.

Adesanya will defend his UFC middleweight title against Jared Cannonier at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on July 2.

The legendary UFC commentator was very complimentary towards Adesanya, 32, and suggested he is on a different level to everyone else on the roster.

He also revealed he had got in contact with him before he joined the UFC in February 2018.

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He said on his podcast: “Izzy’s just the most sophisticated of strikers.

“If you watch striking, if you’re a person who likes striking, and you like setups and stuff, he’s doing something very different because he’s getting guys to move a certain way.

“He’s reading you, like when you see Izzy moving around, he’s reading you.

“He’s downloading all your data and he can see weaknesses in people. A great example is Paulo Costa. Paulo Costa steamrolled everybody. He was just smashing people.

“He’s a giant dude. They call him The Eraser. He would just move forward.

Joe Rogan believes Israel Adesanya is the best striker in the UFC

“And Izzy just picked him apart and made him look foolish.

“By the end of the first round, you could see he was baffled, he was f**ked cos he knew, ‘I can’t hit this dude and he’s standing right in front of me.’ He would swing at Izzy and he’d be just out of range, and then he’d make him pay.

“He’s just so slick, man. For a guy like me who’s been interested in striking his whole life, seeing a guy like this that was a top-flight kickboxer make his way into MMA.

“I reached out to Izzy before he ever fought in the UFC. I saw him fight in kickboxing matches and I reached out to him on Instagram, way back in the day. He was telling me that he’s taking some fights in China but he’s going to come to the UFC but he’s going to do it the right way. He did it the right way.”

Rogan also shared his thoughts on a potential fight between Adesanya and Alex Pereira, with the latter holding two wins over the former in the world of kickboxing.

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Last time out Pereira beat Bruno Silva by unanimous decision and Rogan believes the Brazilian could cause him a few problems.

He added: “The way he describes it is like a lot of people are just button smashers.

“Like if you’re playing a game, try to make something happen. He’s setting things up, and there’s other guys that set things up. That’s one of the things that make this weekend so interesting.

“It’s because he’s on the same card as Alex Pereira, and Alex Pereira knocked him out. He KO’d him with a left hook in a kickboxing match. And he beat him once by unanimous decision and then in the rematch he KO’d Izzy.

“He’s only fought twice in the UFC but he’s won both fights and now he’s fighting the number four-ranked Sean Strickland which is very interesting because they’re basically trying to fast-track him to a fight with Izzy.

“I’m not saying that he could beat him but Alex Pereira is one of the scariest f***ing strikers on Planet Earth. He’s this dude from Brazil. He’s a bad motherf**ker.

“That said, the Izzy from back then is not the Izzy of today. He’s way better now, way better now.”

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