Alex Pereira is the UFC’s new middleweight champion after TKO’ing Israel Adesanya in the final round of a hard-fought battle tonight at UFC 281.
The middleweight title main event is underway at MSG in New York City!
Jumping front kick to the body to start from Pereira but doesn’t land cleanly.
Low kick from Adesanya. Pereira looks for one but not landing cleanly. Adesanya lands to the inside of the leg.
More light kicks to the leg from Adesanya. One from Pereira. Low kick and a punch for Adesanya.
Leg kicks exchanged. Pereira with three in a row and a head kick attempt. Adesanya with a harder leg kick now.
Body kick attempt from Pereira. Leg kick for Pereira. Adesanya with a good kick usptairs that almost catches his opponent off-guard.
Good right hands gets through for Adesanya that backs Pereira up for a moment. Inside leg kick from the champ.
Low kick from Pereira and then just misses with a hook. High body kick from Adesanya. Low kicks exchanged. Adesanya tries for another head kick that’s blocked.
leg kick for Pereira and then a head kick attempt that only grazes the target. Leg kicks for Adesanya.
Body kick from Adesanya. Pereira lands and Adesanya goes for the leg kick.
Adesanya doubling up on the jab. Pereira applying some pressure. Pereira threatens with a knee but doesn’t land.
Adesanya opts to clinch up. Pereira looking for a few strikes in there to the body and head as Adesanya gets him to the cage.
Pereira able to break free. In close Adesanya blasts him with a right hand and it rocks the challenger and nearly sends him down, but he catches his balance in time to stop that. Then Adesanya lands a big hook just as the horn sounded.
Leg kick for Adesanya and now tries higher up. A little showboating from Adesanya, but has to be careful as Pereira is backing him up close to the cage.
Dangerous spinning kick from Poreira but it misses. Nice right hand from Adesanya. Jab for Adesanya now.
Adesanya feeling out with the jab. He lands it again. Nice straight left for the champion. Now a leg kick.
Head kick attempt from Adesanya is blocked. He lands the jab though. Pereira with a good jab of his own. He lands another grazing blow.
Heavy jab for Pereira and now goes into the clinch against the cage landing hard shots to the body. Punch from Adesanya though gets his attention. Now Adesanya turns him into the cage.
Adesanya tries for a takedown, but Pereira keeps his balance. Pereira pushes him away. Pereira tags him with a right hand.
Jab from Adesanya as Pereira tries to pressure him. Fast punch from Pereira. Jab from Adesanya. Hard punch lands for Pereira and Adesanya backs away.
Adesanya looses his balance for a moment and almost eats a big knee. Adesanya clinches him up against the cage.
Pereira looking for the occasional body punch and knee. Adesanya tries to trip him but without success.
They break apart. Head kick from Pereira grazes the target. Adesanya looking for punches. Pereira surprises him by going for a takedown. Adesanya tries to use his balance to stay upright, but Pereira drives into it and lands it as the round is ending.
Leg kick for Pereira. Body punch for Adesanya. Inside leg kick for him. he tries to land upstairs and so does Pereira but neither lands.
Outside leg kick for Adesanya. Now a punch upstairs. Body punch from Adesanya. Now a straight lands for Pereira.
In close Pereira lands a good knee to the body. Body lock for Adesanya and lands a really nice takedown. He’s got the back as Pereira is on his knees and Adesanya lands a few punches.
Pereira trying to scramble out, but is unable to. Adesanya remaining patient. Adesanya gets a hook in and lands a few nice punches.
Pereira close to the cage and trying to stand, but Adesanya weighing heavy on him. Poreira almost stands then gets shoved down again. There’s a scramble and Adesanya almost loses position, but Poriera tries for a leg lock and doesn’t get it, enabling the champ to get back on top.
Adesanya in Pereira’s guard now and landing a few strikes. Good left hook for Adesanya. He postures up and stands. Poreira looking for upkicks which makes Adesanya wary, but then he steps in with an axe kick to the body and drops back down onto him.
Jab for Adesanya. Now a bbody punch and an outside leg kick. leg kick for Pereira. Punch to the chest from Pereira.
Another leg kick for Pereira and a body kick from Adesanya. Glancing hook from Pereira. Leg kick for Adesanya.
Good jab for Adesanya. Now a right hand. Poreira starts to press forward. He lands a light punch to the body and then another punch. Jab and then a right hand for Adesanya. Now a leg kick and high kick.
Body kick for Adesanya as Poreira backs off a bit, perhaps feeling the pace of the fight.
More leg kicks for Adesanya. Couple of solid jabs for Adesanya. Now one to the body. Adesanya faking the takedown a couple of times. Now he does clinch up and moves him to the cage.
It’s this clinch work and wrestling that seems to be taking some of the steam out of Pereira. However they break free and it’s the challenger who starts to throw a few punches and presses forward with purpose. He lands another jab.
Adesanya clinches up again. Pereira with a heel to the calf. Now a knee to the body. Adesanya presses him into the cage. He lands a punch to the body. Elbow from Adesanya as he breaks free but it doesn’t land.
Pereira looking for a big punch at the the end of the round but Adesanya evades it with a flourish.
Leg kick for Adesanya. Now one to the body. Jab for Pereira as he presses forward and lands a big punch to the body.
leg kick for Pereira. Short right hook for Adesanya. Solid right hand for Pereira. Adesanya opts to clinch up and presses him up against the cage.
They break apart. Leg kick from Adesanya but then falls back awkwardly and gets back upright. He seems ok. Nice strike from Adesanya at close range.
Pereira backs him up to the cage. Big right hand for the challenger and then an uppercut. Adesanya is rocked and eats a big left hook.
Poreira continues his onslaught and Adesanya staggers along the cage. He’s still upright but Pereira is teeing off on him. Adesanya unsteadily trying to bob and weave but gets clipped again and the ref opts to step in and end the fight!
Poreira TKO’s Adesanya at 2.01mins of the final round to win the title and end Adesanya’s long championship reign.
Heading into the final round it seemed like Poreira might need a finish and certainly that’s what his corner were telling him, and that’s just what he did, landing a series of hard-hitting punches during that fight-ending sequence, though Adesanya will no doubt be frustrated to see the fight be waved off while he was still standing.
Poreira now holds three wins over Adesanya, twice in kickboxing and once in MMA, but it’s quite possible that there could now be a fourth fight between them.