However, the capstone was undoubtedly the middleweight title fight main event, which saw Pereira replicate his kickboxing success but finishing Adesanya in the fifth round of a competitive fight, but one that “Poatan” was going to lose on the scorecards.
Fighters Lefts Shocked By Adesanya vs Pereira At UFC 281
It is impossible to deny that the outcome of the UFC 281 main event between Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira was shocking to say the least, especially given how close the champ was to retaining his title. The reactions on social media were a testament to that fact.
However the online reactions were nothing compared to those who were in attendance at UFC 281, sitting cageside in Madison Square Garden.
Video began to surface on Twitter after the event, showing the faces of Aljamain Sterling, Kevin Holland, Leon Edwards, Kamaru Usman, Francis Ngannou, and more, all stunned and shocked by what they had just witnessed.
The looks on the faces of these top UFC fighters all paint a picture of people who could not believe that Alex Pereira was able to TKO Israel Adesanya. More than that, some people even looked saddened, as the now-former middleweight champion has made friends with many of his fellow roster members.
One person who was still shocked, but not altogether saddened, was former champ and rival to Adesanya, Robert Whittaker. While he was not cageside at UFC 281, video emerged of his love reaction, while watching the fight on a podcast alongside retired UFC vet Jens Pulver.
It is not hard to understand why Whittaker would react like this, being a top contender who lost to Israel Adesanya twice before. Of course, the likeliest outcome seems to be an immediate rematch between Adesanya and Pereira, in which early oddsmakers still put Adesanya as the favorite, so who knows how this division will pan out moving forward.
What was your reaction when Alex Pereira TKO’d Israel Adesanya at UFC 281?