Fighters on the rise | UFC 287: Pereira vs Adesanya 2 (2023)

What has always made this series, and speaking of emerging talent in general, so appealing to me is the uncertainty of it all.

With established champions and competitors, we know who they are, what they bring to the table; the highlights and minor highlights and all points in between, and while they certainly continue to put in incredible performances, there aren't as many impressive moments as there are with younger, less proven competitors.

Order UFC 287: Pereira vs Adesanya 2

There's something about seeing a fighter come into the UFC and start to walk his path, see him develop, improve, take a step back and then regroup that piques my interest and gets my attention in a different way, because the ceilings of those men and women are undefined. Until they have those defining moments (key fights against veteran fighters, entrenched contenders, maybe even defending champions), no one can say for sure where this fighter will end up, and watching that journey is as compelling to me as anything in this sport.

Saturday night in Miami, three fighters who have already acted in this series return to the octagon in search of taking a step forward in their respective careers. two faceclassifiedopponents for the first time, while the other is making his second appearance, looking forward to building a tremendous debut.

If successful, they will likely appear here again later this year, days before the next biggest fight of their career, and will continue to appear here again and again until they reach contender status or make a point in the division where they clearly left off. .

All three are on a steady climb thus far, so you'll want to pay close attention to them this weekend and beyond.

Adrian Yanez

The standout fighter to emerge from Season 4 of Dana White's Contender Series (DWCS), Yáñez arrives in Miami 5-0 inside the Octagon and on a nine-fight winning streak when he takes on Rob Font midday on Saturday. . UFC 287pay per view master card.

(Video) UFC Fighters "Discuss" Adesanya vs Pereira 2 (We Go Again)

In four of his five appearances, the 29-year-old Texan has dispatched opponents from a distance, most recently beating Tony Kelley in the first round, and in the only instance where the judges were needed,Yanezhe showed his courage and tenacity in a Fight of the Night winning battle with British veteran Davey Grant. He earned a post-fight bonus in each of his first five matches in the UFC and rose to the Top 15 in the ultra-competitive135-pound weight class, but things only get harder from here, starting this weekend.

UFC 287 FREE MATCHES:Jorge Masvidal x Nate Diaz|Gilbert Burns contra Neil Magny|Rob Font contra Marlon Moraes|Adrian Yanez x Tony Kelley

sourcelanded in Miami looking to break a two-fight skid and reaffirm his position as one of the top 10 fighters in the division after losing back-to-back decisions to José Aldo and Marlon Vera. He's only lost to ranked fighters, has one of the best jabs and overall boxing repertoire in the sport, and is fighting for the first time like a proud new dad, which is sure to increase his intensity and sense of urgency.

While this could be a case of Yanez skipping a step, moving from Kelley to a Top 10 opponent without stopping to face another veteran in the "Second 15" first, it is also an excellent opportunity for the up-and-coming bantamweight. . Defeating Font would likely put him in the Top 10 and position Yanez for another major task in the second half of the year, while a setback would simply indicate that he's not yet ready to compete with the big guys.

Yáñez is a very important part of the up-and-coming team that is climbing the ranks at the moment and has a chance to climb to the top of that group with a win this weekend.

Raul Rosas Jr.

Here's a perfect pointer to why every fight fan should be watching every step of the way.roses jr.takes on his UFC career:

Yáñez is 29 years old, five fights in the UFC, 19 fights in the professional and had a very solid resume in the regional circuit before entering the octagon, and he is still considered... and he is 11 years old .more than his bantamweight companion, who returns to action on Saturday against another promising youngster, Christian Rodriguez, 25 years old.

Alex Pereira's Career Highlight: Journey to the Belt

(Video) Adesanya Went For The Same Finish THREE TIMES! Against Pereira At UFC 287! Fight Breakdown

While it has become mandatory for fighters under the age of 23 years (and 242 days) to declare that they want to break Jon Jones' record for being the youngest UFC champion in history, very few who mention him have actually had the chance to. . because as good as they were on the regional circuit and as promising as they showed in the early days of their UFC careers, competing at that level is incredibly difficult, and progressing to the point of fighting for championship gold usually takes three, four, five years, if not more.

Rosas Jr. stated that he wants to break Jones' record, but is the first one he feels he might have a chance, having turned 18 just months before his promotional debut at UFC 282 and five years to go. . There are absolutely no guarantees when it comes to his development and progression, but he made an excellent first impression by quickly defeating Jay Perrin in December, and he has a chance to build on that with a second win on Saturday over Rodriguez.

Rosas Jr. is the most fascinating fighter in the sport for me right now, and I don't see that changing any time soon.

Luana Pinheiro

Fighters on the rise | UFC 287: Pereira vs Adesanya 2 (2)

Luana Pinheiro celebrates after her knockout victory over Stephanie Frausto in their strawweight bout during week four of Dana White's Contender Series at UFC APEX on November 10, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/DWCS LLC/Zuffa

like Yanez,pinheirograduated to the UFC with a win in Season 4 of Dana White's Contender Series, but has been limited to just two appearances since, and returns this weekend against veteran contender Michelle Waterson-Gomez after spending all of 2022 to margem.

The 29-year-old Brazilian looked fine in the early stages of her promotional debut against Randa Markos before taking an illegal kick to the face and being unable to continue, then earning a unanimous decision win over Sam Hughes in her sophomore year showing to advance to 10 -1 to your career. He's spent most of the past year recovering from a knee injury, but he could break through and gain a lot of momentum if he picks up a victory over Waterson-Gomez on Saturday.

RELATED:Michelle Waterson-Gomez: Warrior Code

A Top 10 presence since its debut in the summer of 2015,Waterson-Gomezhe's lived on the fringes of title contention for most of his UFC career and represents a significant step up in competition for Pinheiro, despite losing two fights and losing four of his last five.

Again, just like Yáñez, it could be the case that Pinheiro misses a step, but it's a risk worth taking for the clearly talented judoka, who has eight straight wins in total. With the top of the division in motion now, this is a chance for her to take down a veteran starter, catapult herself into the Top 10 and set herself up for something even bigger later in the year.

(Video) UFC 287: Pereira Vs Adesanya 2 - A DEEPER DIVE

And if things don't work out in your favor, there's plenty of time to take half a step back, reset, and start trying to move forward again next time.

UFC 287: Pereira vs Adesanya 2took place live at the Kayesa Center in Miami, Florida on April 8, results,official scoresywho won bonus- and relive the action inUFC Fight Pass!

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