The fourth time was the charm for Israel Adesanya as he was finally able to defeat longtime nemesis Alex Pereira Saturday by second round knockout recapturing the middleweight title at UFC 287 in Miami.
Adesanya had lost twice to Pereira – once by knockout – in their kickboxing days, then dropped the UFC title to him last year when Pereira again KO’d him. But after weathering some brutal leg kicks, Adesanya claimed his revenge, Saturday.
Pereira fought at a measured pace in the first, content to throw low kicks as Adesanya answered with leg kicks of his own mixed with quick punches. But Pereira’s leg kicks were heavier. Every time he drilled a kick to Adesanya’s left calf, he forced the challenger to temporarily switch to a southpaw stance.
Adesanya tried to come out more aggressively to start the second but Pereira’s calf kicks soon had him in trouble against the fence. Pereira seemed to sense an opportunity and opened up with a brutal combination of body punches, a knee and a blistering left hook. But he finally played right into Adesanya’s wheelhouse eating a huge counter right hand from the challenger as he wound up on another hook. The champion buckled and Adesanya instantly loosed another overhand right that smashed into Pereira and dropped him to the mat completely unconscious.
Adesanya becomes the first fighter in UFC history to win the undisputed middleweight championship twice.
Mma, Israel adesanya, Ufc, Mixed martial arts
Black Belt Magazine
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