Pereira upsets Adesanya with 5th-round TKO, wins UFC middleweight title at Madison Square Garden


Alex Pereira has Israel Adesanya’s quantity in any fight sport — make it 3-0, and now the Brazilian knockout artist additionally has his rival’s UFC middleweight championship.

Pereira fought again out from a sluggish begin and rocked Adesanya within the fifth spherical to attain the TKO win and declare the 185-pound championship in the principle occasion of UFC 281 on Saturday night time at Madison Square Garden.

The 35-year-old Pereira defeated Adesanya twice — as soon as by knockout — of their previous kickboxing days and that obtained the challenger fast-tracked to a title match after simply three UFC fights.

His speedy rise to the title had the Garden crowd going wild as Pereira tagged Adesanya with a vicious proper that despatched the champion into the cage. Adesanya, the Nigeria-born, New Zealand-raised fighter slumped towards the cage and Pereira went for the ending blows however the referee stopped the bout at 2:01 within the fifth.

Knocked at instances for his methodical model, the 31-year-old Adesanya (23-2) obtained the MSG crowd on his aspect as soon as he clobbered Pereira with a pounding proper after which a quick left hand to the face that ended the primary spherical and despatched the challenger reeling.

Trying to shake off the beating, Pereira stood and beckoned followers to get louder as he waited for the bell to sign the second.

He raised his arms once more to the group, solely in victory.

Adesanya’s loss snapped his 12-fight win streak at middleweight, just one shy of Anderson Silva’s division file.

Zhang Weili gained the 115-belt for a second time and UFC’s first Chinese champion made fast work towards Carla Esparza with a rear bare choke submission at 1:05 of the second spherical.

Zhang (23-3) patted her championship belt after UFC President Dana White wrapped it round her waist contained in the octagon. Zhang solely efficiently defended the championship as soon as throughout her first championship reign. She beat Jessica Andrade in 2019 and gained a call towards Joanna Jedrzejczyk earlier than she suffered consecutive losses to Rose Namajunas.

Back within the title image, Zhang did not disappoint and capped the victory with a cartwheel.

Esparza (20-7) was a two-time champion.

Edgar loses in retirement combat

Former UFC light-weight champion Frankie Edgar misplaced the ultimate bout of his MMA profession when he was dropped by Chris Gutierrez at 2:01 of the primary spherical of their combat. The 41-year-old Edgar absorbed a flying knee to the top for a brutal KO loss in his final time within the cage in a profession that began in 2005. Gutierrez and Edgar had an extended embrace after the spectacular end within the 135-pound combat that quieted one other packed crowd at MSG.

A Toms River, New Jersey native, Edgar completed his profession at 24-11-1 general and 18-11-1 within the UFC.

Edgar entered the night time with a UFC-record 7 hours, 55 minutes and 9 seconds of whole combat time. His 1,799 vital strikes have been second-best, and 73 takedowns have been fourth on the profession checklist. He held the light-weight championship for practically two years from 2010 to 2012.

“Ladies and gentleman, that is the ultimate combat of his illustrious Hall of Fame profession,” octagon announcer Bruce Buffer bellowed to a roaring crowd.

The intros to a Garden stuffed with A-listers that included Sylvester Stallone, Halle Berry, Miles Teller and Mike Tyson have been about so long as the combat.

“I’ve obtained my household right here,” a crestfallen Edgar mentioned. “That’s all that issues.”

Dustin Poirier made Michael Chandler faucet within the third spherical of bloody slugfest that despatched the group right into a frenzy. Poirier slapped on the rear bare choke to cease a frenetic match that had each fighters seemingly on the point of victory — the official scorecards had the combat even getting into the third spherical — on a number of events. In the second spherical, Chandler had blood flowing from his nostril like an open faucet as he mounted Poirier. Poirier complained blood leaked into his eyes and he advised the referee that Chandler caught fingers in his mouth and pulled his head again.

“He was just a little bit extra sturdy than I assumed he can be,” Poirier mentioned. “I assumed if I harm him, I used to be going to place him away.”

A KO could not cease this one. Poirier ran his file to 21-6 in UFC with the submission end whereas Chandler dropped to 2-3 because the former Bellator light-weight champion left for UFC in 2020. Poirier turned the sixth fighter in UFC historical past to win at least 21 fights,

The card fell on the twenty ninth anniversary of the primary Ultimate Fighting Championship occasion held in Denver and 6 years to the day of the primary UFC card at Madison Square Garden. New York turned the ultimate state to legalize blended martial arts playing cards and that opened the door to a few of the richest playing cards in UFC historical past at each MSG and Barclays Center in Brooklyn.


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