Israel Adesanya suffered another painful defeat to Alex Pereira, who came from behind to score a fifth round knockout in the main event of UFC 281 at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.
It was the third meeting between both fighters and the Nigerian-New Zealander was on the verge of getting his revenge before the Brazilian struck again.
Pereira was badly hurt in the first round and looked exhausted in the fourth round as Adesanya deployed a brilliant game plan where he mixed striking with clinching and takedowns to sap the energy of his rival.
However, Pereira showed why has won their previous two meetings in kickboxing and landed a flurry vicious punches to knock Adesanya out.
The Brazilian who made his UFC debut on November 6, 2021 has now become the middleweight champion after just eight fights.
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