September 27, 2023

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UFC 281 results, highlights: Alex Pereira stuns by knockout Israel Adesanya and claims title

UFC 281 results, highlights: Alex Pereira stuns by knockout Israel Adesanya and claims title

Alex Pereira is the only person to have defeated Israel Adesanya – and he has done so twice.

Pereira scored a win coming from behind against Adesanya at UFC 281 Saturday night to become the new UFC middleweight champion inside Madison Square Garden.

The fight would be a bitter pill for Adesanya to swallow. Similar to my two kickboxing fights, Adesanya was winning the competition until he wasn’t. Adesanya nearly added to seven stoppages in the first round of UFC 281 with a one-two that had Pereira in all kinds of trouble. Adesanya’s devastating shot came in the last second of the first round, but he didn’t have the time to cash in on it. Pereira’s corner panicked in their efforts to straighten their fighter’s head.

Pereira rebounded well again in the second round. It was a competitive round, albeit not an amazing one, likely to be in the contender’s favour. Adesanya scored the first takedown of his 14-game UFC career in the third round and decisively dominated Pereira for the remainder of the round. Adesanya exhausted Pereira with press, ground, poundage and a beautiful ax kick at the end of the third round.

Pereira worked remarkably in the fourth round and had very limited production. Adesanya was sound defensively, as he slashed away from his opponent in a run that was obvious to him. Pereira’s corner kick implored him to find the finishing point in the fifth round, realizing that Adesanya was likely to have a 3-1 lead on the judges’ scorecards. The UFC broadcast after the fight confirmed that Adesanya was on the three judges’ scorecards heading to the final frame.

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Pereira answered the call, shooting Adesanya and shaking him with heavy shots at the fence. Adesanya swayed hopelessly and spun but ate big balls and other big shots until the referee stepped in.

Pereira thanked his teammates for the victory and told UFC commentator Joe Rogan through an interpreter that he was working as hard in camp as he did in this fight. Former UFC Lightweight Champion Glover Teixeira, Pereira’s primary training partner, later told commentators about a conversation he had with Pereira between the fourth and fifth rounds.

“Should I fire him?” Pereira Teixeira asked. “You’d better fire him,” Teixeira replied.

Pereira (7-1) captured the UFC Middleweight Championship in only his fourth fight in the UFC. Adesanya (23-2) has successfully managed five title defenses as the middleweight champion and has held the undisputed crown since October 2019.

Can’t get enough of boxing and mixed martial arts? Get the latest in combat sports from two of the best sports in the business. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell For the best in-depth analysis and news, including live analysis of UFC 281 at the conclusion of the PPV event below.

Elsewhere on the card, Zhang Weili regained her crown as the women’s strawweight champion by introducing the second round to Carla Esparza. Weili dominated the grappling exchanges before closing the bare gorge. Weili, Esparza and Rose Namajunas have now exchanged the belt among themselves in the last three encounters. Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler made a classic before Poirier believed in Late Delivery.

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CBS Sports was with you all the way on Saturday bringing you all the results and highlights from UFC 281 below.

UFC 281 Card and Results

  • Alex Pereira defeated. Israel Adesanya (c) via TKO 5th round (punches)
  • Willy Chang Def. Carla Esparza (c) By introducing the second round (naked rear throttle)
  • Dustin Poirier defeated. Michael Chandler By introducing the third round (naked rear throttle)
  • Chris Gutierrez dave. Frankie Edgar By knockout in the first round (knee)
  • Dan Hooker def. Claudio Pulis via second round knockout (body kick)
  • Renato Moikano defeated. Brad Riddle via first round submission (naked rear throttle)
  • Ryan Spahn Def. Dominic Reyes Cross Knockout in the first round (Punch)
  • Erin Blanchfield defeated. Molly McCann By introducing the first round (Kimura)
  • Andrei Petrosky def. Wellington Torman by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Matt Frivola defeated. Othman Zuaiter Cross Knockout in the first round (Punch)
  • Carolina Kowalkiewicz defeated. Silvana Gomez Juarez by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Michael Trizzano def. Choi Seung-woo via TKO in the first round (punches)
  • Montell Jackson def. Julio Arce via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Carlos Ulberg def. Nicolae Negumereanu via TKO first round (punches)