Israel Adesanya has defeated his long-time opponent, Alex Pereira to reclaim his UFC title.
Adesanya suffered a controversial points loss to Pereira in their first fight, a kickboxing match.
In their rematch, also in kickboxing, Adesanya was leading but was knocked out. In November 2022, in their first MMA clash, again Adesanya was ahead, but he was beaten in the final round.
On Sunday, on his fourth attempt, The Last Stylebender, finally got his win over Pereira, and in stunning fashion with a knockout at minute 4:21 of Round 2.
At the end of the fight, Adesanya said he was “playing possum” against the fence, waiting for a moment to strike.
And when he struck, did he strike. It was a clean right hook from nowhere, and it stunned Pereira still. The next shot was another right hook to put down Pereira.
One hammer fist, and the fight was waved off, but Pereira was already out cold after the second hook.
In the end, Adesanya made good on what was likely his last chance to beat Pereira and improved his MMA fight record to 24-2 (13-2 UFC), while Pereira (7-2 MMA) suffered his first loss in the UFC (4-1 UFC).