Nigeria’s Israel Adesanya (23 wins and 2 losses) He has lost the UFC middleweight title After defeating Brazilian Alex Pereira via fifth-round TKO at UFC 281.
The former champion, riding a 12-fight winning streak, fell short of tying legend Anderson Silva’s record for the longest streak in UFC middleweight history (13) before being stopped by the Brazilian knockout artist.
This is the first time Adesanya has defeated Adesanya at middleweight and the first time he has been finished (knocked out or submitted) in his MMA career.
Seeing the green trunks representing Nigeria’s colors, Israel Adesanya started the fight well and Pereira was stunned, but the Brazilian was saved at the end of the buzzer.
Adesanya started the second round well with several leg kicks, but Pereira was able to take them before getting a break, which pretty much sealed the second round for him.
The Last Stylebender came in smoking in the third round and was able to get a stoppage in the middle of the round, the first of his MMA career. Along with the extended ground control time, Adesanya easily took the third round.
ALSO READ: UFC 281: Adesanya seeks revenge against two-time foe Alex Pereira
Pereira went into the fourth round tired, which allowed Adesanya to land a flurry of punches, kicks and generally cause all sorts of problems for his challenger.
But in the fifth round, driven by his corner, Pereira took Adesanya down and landed a left hook that stunned the former champion.
From then on it was all Pereira who unloaded on the Nigerian until the referee intervened to award Pereira the TKO.
With Kamaru Usman losing his welterweight title to Leon Edwards in August, Adesanya’s loss means Nigeria, who started the year with two undisputed UFC champions, will end the year with nothing.
The former champion can request an immediate rematch if he wants and it remains to be seen if he goes for it.
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