In a thrilling rematch, Israel Adesanya exacted his revenge on Alex Pereira with a devastating knockout in the main event of UFC 287. It was a long-awaited victory for Adesanya, who had suffered three previous defeats to the Brazilian across kickboxing and MMA, creating a narrative that Pereira had his number.
But like a scene out of a Quentin Tarantino movie, Adesanya turned the tables with a pair of brutal right hands that left Pereira crumpled on the canvas.
The official stoppage occurred at 4:21 of the second round, making Adesanya a two-time UFC middleweight champion and cementing his place as one of the best middleweights of all time. But for Adesanya, this win was more than just a title belt. It was a vindication of his skills and a triumph over his demons.
UFC 287 Main Event Recap: Israel Adesanya Gets His Revenge in Sweet Victory
“They say revenge is sweet, and if you know me, I’ve got a sweet tooth,” Adesanya said in his post-fight interview. “This is f****** sweet. I’m telling you, no matter what, Alex is a great champion. He lost the belt tonight, but he will always be the champion.”
With a history of facing each other in previous bouts, there was a palpable sense of familiarity between Pereira and Adesanya. Both fighters were aiming to establish control on the ground, with Pereira concentrating on calf kicks and Adesanya leaning on the body blows.
As the second round began, Pereira came out aggressively, landing hard shots that briefly backed up Adesanya, reminiscent of their last encounter. However, this time Adesanya remained composed, defending well and then counterattacking with precision.
Adesanya’s striking prowess was on full display as he patiently waited for the perfect moment to unleash his devastating right hand. That moment came after Pereira landed a powerful leg kick that momentarily wobbled Adesanya, prompting Pereira to go for the kill. But Adesanya weathered the storm, firing back with his own strikes.
Adesanya’s Lightning-Quick Right Hand Seals Pereira’s Fate: UFC 287 Recap of Redemption and Triumph
In a blink-and-you-miss-it moment, Adesanya’s right hand found its mark, rattling Pereira and sending him crashing to the canvas. Adesanya added one more blow for good measure, but the bout was already finished when the referee intervened to spare Pereira from further injury.
It was a triumphant moment for Adesanya, who showed respect by shaking Pereira’s hand after the fight, acknowledging his opponent’s skills. With this win, Adesanya has finally put to rest the notion that Pereira had his number, solidifying his legacy as one of the all-time greats in the middleweight division.
When the dust settles, Adesanya’s victory opens the door for potential rematches between the two boxers. But for now, Adesanya should savor his well-earned moment of redemption. Despite his ugly demons, he persevered on and emerged from his hunt as the hunted, ready for every challenge in his quest for glory.