Pereira wins UFC middleweight title in NY
November 13, 2022 / 9:45 pm
Brazil’s Alex Pereira pulled off a stunning comeback to knock out Israel Adesanya in the fifth round and claim the UFC middleweight title and Zhang Weili choked out Carla Esparza to regain the strawweight belt at UFC 281 at Madison Square Garden.
Behind on the judges’ scorecards and running out of steam, Pereira unleashed a stunning combination of strikes in the final round to dethrone Adesanya, who had held the title for 3-1/2 years, in only his eighth professional MMA bout.
“I feel so good, I’ve been training all my life, I worked so hard for this,” an elated Pereira said.
Fighting out of a southpaw stance for much of the first round, Adesanya landed a huge right hand and followed it up with a left hook to the jaw that almost ended the fight, but Pereira was saved as the horn sounded to end the frame.
AAP (C) 2022
Alex Pereira (left) has stopped Israel Adesanya in the fifth round of their UFC middleweight bout. (AP PHOTO)