Israel Adesanya is the middleweight champion once again after knocking out rival Alex Pereira in the second round of their UFC 287 clash. After falling short to Pereira three times before, Adesanya managed to put “Poatan” down and reclaim his spot at the top of the middleweight division.
The fight started with Pereira targeting Adesanya’s lower body with leg kicks. While neither fighter landed anything with real authority, Pereira aimed to slow Adesanya down while the latter sat back to counter.
Then the roller coaster second round happened.
Pereira pressed forward, landing big shots and forcing Adesanya against the cage. It seemed for a moment that Pereira was moments away from landing another crippling KO, but Adesanya landed a booming right-hand counter that ended the night.
After raining down hammer blows on his downed opponent, Adesanya was declared the winner by TKO at the 4:21 mark of round 2. With the win, Adesanya becomes a two-time middleweight champion and scores the elusive first win over his long-time rival.
Pereira previously defeated Adesanya twice during their days in professional kickboxing and knocked him out at UFC 281 to end his stranglehold on the middleweight division. That was but a brief reprieve, but with so few viable contenders in the division, the final chapter between these two may still be on deck.
With the win, Adesanya moves to 24-2, and is sure to gain some footing on the pound-for-pound conversation once more
Pereira falls to 7-2, yet may see another shot at Adesanya in the months to come.
Gilbert Burns dominates a hapless Jorge Masvidal
As has been the case with Jorge Masvidal lately, his bite was bigger than his bark. In a fight that he called a must-win contest, the outspoken Masvidal was dominated and listless against Gilbert Burns.
The one-sided bout saw Burns outstrike Masvidal, landing several big shots and never giving up any ground. Despite Masvidal’s accomplishments as a striker, Burns landed more strikes in two of the three rounds, also scoring four takedowns along the way.
The writing was on the wall in the third round as Masvidal was visibly tired. Burns had Masvidal on the mat at the end of the fight, but to Masvidal’s credit, he made it to the final bell.
Burns was declared the winner by unanimous decision by scores of 30-27 twice, and 29-28.
Following the defeat, Masvidal announced his retirement.
UFC 287 full card results
Israel Adesanya def. Alex Pereira (c) via second-round TKO
Gilbert Burns def. Jorge Masvidal via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Rob Font def. Adrian Yanez via first-round TKO
Kevin Holland def. Santiago Ponzinibbio via third-round TKO
Christian Rodriguez def. Raul Rosas Jr. via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Kelvin Gastelum def. Chris Curtis via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Luana Pinheiro def. Michelle Waterson via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Joe Pyfer def. Gerald Meerschaert via first-round TKO
Loopy Godinez def. Cynthia Calvillo via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Ignacio Bahamondes def. Trey Ogden via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Steve Garcia def. Shayilan Nuerdanbieke via second-round TKO
Sam Hughes def. Jaqueline Amorim via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)