Israel Adesanya knocks out Pereira to reclaim UFC middleweight title

Israel Adesanya has defeated Alex Pereira to reclaim the UFC middleweight belt title in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 287.

The bout took place at the FTX Arena, Miami, Florida, on Sunday morning.

The Nigerian-born mixed martial artist knocked out the Brazilian in the fourth minute of the second round of the bout.

The victory is Adesanya’s first-ever win over Pereira who defeated and took the belt off him with a vicious fifth-round knockout in November 2022.

The Brazilian had also defeated him twice before that fight at the Maddison Square Garden in New York.

However, in their latest bout, Adesanya demonstrated an improvement in his discipline which had previously cost him against Pereira. He had a laser-like focus throughout the entire blurry exchanges of kicks and jabs.

He kept his hard mask of control through the first round despite the constant infuriation of Pereira’s low kick into his right calf.

In the second round, however, he charged out of his reserved, calculating stance and flew after the Brazilians with strings of attacks.

Although Periera initially countered Adesanya’s moves and pinned him with a flurry of punches to the corner, the Nigerian-born fighter wriggled out of the trap with a vicious left hook, followed by a more debilitating right cross-jab that sent the Brazilian to the mat.

Adesanya then finished the job with some ground and pound and the referee was forced to call the match.

The win over Pereira is Adesanya’s 24th in his career in mixed martial arts (MMA) and he had suffered just two losses.