At UFC 281, Pereira made an incredible comeback to defeat Adesanya and claim the middleweight championship via standing TKO in the fifth round.
Israel Adesanya on UFC 281
Adesanya immediately objected to the early stoppage, claiming that he was not in immediate danger.”The Last Stylebender” then discussed the fight’s conclusion with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, explaining his viewpoint on the outcome.
I’m therefore attempting to move at some point throughout the battle. You know when you trip over your leg while walking and it unintentionally drags on the ground?I thought something was amiss with my leg since I was getting that through the fight. And at some point I thought, “Oh sh*t, I guess my leg is that thing.
” Although I had never experienced it in a battle before, I was aware of what it was. He then moved laterally and smacked me twice, which caused me to trip.It appeared undesirable as a result. Two huge shots and he wobbles, oh s***, I believe the referee said. I can assure you that it wasn’t the shots. I have no justification to tell lies.
Therefore, I said, “OK, stand there, stand there, just don’t move any more, let him gas out,” concluded Adesanya. I lowered my head as I waited for him to fire heavy bullets because I could see his arms and legs.I only needed to focus on that. His head is where I can see it. I’m just standing there moving constantly. But the referee will say, “Nah,” when I take two strong shots, stagger, and stand there looking like that.
He is also acting safely. Therefore, when he jumped in, I said, “I’m fine.” Aw, f***.’ I was just plain disappointed. In order to complete my work, I was waiting for him to gas out.Adesanya was not given the opportunity to do so. At 2:01 in the first round, Goddard intervened to terminate the contest.
And while Adesanya can understand why the referee made that decision, he also points out that Goddard officiated his fight with Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 236 and allowed that contest to go on despite Gastelum being repeatedly knocked down in the final round.Adesanya’s first defeat in the middleweight division prompts the inquiry of what comes next.
Despite the fact that he is now 0-3 against Pereira after accounting for his two kickboxing defeats, UFC President Dana White has already said a rematch could happen soon.