After beating Adesanya twice in the world of kickboxing, Pereira followed him into the world of MMA in an attempt to make it a three-peat and capture UFC gold in the process. Sure enough, after a competitive fight, one that he was ultimately losing on the scorecards, “Poatan” rocked the champ in the fifth round, securing a TKO in a comeback that left fans and onlookers stunned.
Israel Adesanya Nearly Finished Alex Pereira
As impressive and unexpected as it was for Alex Pereira to finish Israel Adesanya, things were nearly headed in the opposite direction at the end of the first round. “The Last Stylebender” cracked his longtime rival with a hard pair of punches in the final seconds of the round, with “Poatan” being quite clearly saved by the bell.
When asked about this moment after the fight, Pereira confirmed to media that he was quite close to being finished at the end of the UFC 281 main event’s first round. However, he says that this helped him dial into the fight, evidenced by him winning the second round and doing his own damage.
“It hurt me a lot. I’m not gonna lie. But I think it helped me to stay sharper, stay with it, and then start to put more pressure, pick more shots, and also make him work more, which I think I was able to get him a little more tired, too,” Pereira said.
It is admirable that Alex Pereira did not try to downplay how badly he was hurt, even if it was written all over his face in the moment. This just goes to show that these two fighters are as competitive as rivals can be, no matter the medium of combat.
Were you impressed that Alex Pereira was able to survive those shots by Israel Adesanya?