Pereira pulled off the upset over Adesanya at UFC 281 on Saturday in New York City. Despite being minutes away from likely losing on the judges’ scorecards, Pereira blitzed Adesanya with a barrage of strikes to earn the TKO victory the belt.
The finish stunned the Madison Square Garden crowd and viewers at home. Adesanya appeared to immediately protest the stoppage despite being badly wobbled by Pereira’s hooks against the cage.
After picking up the biggest win of his professional MMA career, Pereira feels there shouldn’t be any doubt surrounding his victory.
Alex Pereira Willing To Run It Back With Israel Adesanya
During his UFC 281 post-fight press conference, Pereira gave his thoughts on the timing of the stoppage by referee Marc Goddard.
“Absolutely correct. People can say whatever, but Izzy was taking some pretty heavy hits,” Pereira opined. “The referee’s there for a reason, to keep it safe. So, I think what he did was absolutely correct.”
Adesanya wasn’t a fan of the stoppage after the fight. He claimed that if Goddard wasn’t the referee, he would’ve retained the belt and remained unbeaten at middleweight.
For what it’s worth, the UFC broadcast team, including Joe Rogan and Daniel Cormier, felt the stoppage was justified. They felt Adesanya’s accumulation of damage taken during the fifth-round sequence warranted Goddard waving off the fight.
Talks of an immediate rematch circulated shortly after the UFC 281 main event, and the newly crowned middleweight champion Pereira is open to the idea.
“Well, it doesn’t matter to me. I’m gonna fight whoever,” Pereira clarified. “They choose who I’m gonna fight. And if that’s the fight they want to do, I’m gonna be ready.”
Pereira picked up wins over Sean Strickland, Bruno Silva, and Andreas Michailidis en route to the title shot against Adesanya. He earned the belt in one of the fastest runs in UFC history.
Pereira is the only fighter to defeat and finish Adesanya during their respective combat sports career. In Glory Kickboxing, Pereira picked up a decision win followed up by a wild knockout in their two matchups in the ring.
As Pereira begins his title reign, he has plenty of potential challengers waiting in the wings, including Robert Whittaker and Paulo Costa. Neverteheless, the rematch with Adesanya could be one of the biggest title rematches in UFC history.
Please provide transcription credit with a link to this article if you use any of these quotes.