Alex Pereira grew to become the undisputed middleweight UFC champion on Saturday, defeating Israel Adesanya on a technical knock-out in entrance of a sold-out Madison Square Gardens in New York.
It was a surprising come-from-behind victory with Pereira, competing in simply his fourth UFC combat and eighth general MMA combat, billed because the underdog towards Adesanya who was trying to win a document sixth consecutive title protection.
And for a lot of the combat, it appeared as if Adesanya would obtain that document with Pereira languishing behind on the judges’ scorecards till the ultimate spherical.
However the Brazilian rallied and hit Adesanya with a flurry of pictures within the fifth spherical to pressure a referee stoppage and a TKO victory.
“I’m very blissful,” Pereira mentioned afterwards, in accordance the UFC web site. “It was a wonderful work. And I’m not simply saying from once I entered the Group however every thing I’ve been doing to get right here.
“And what I did to be right here getting the belt. It was very troublesome. I needed to overcome some robust opponents however I did it.”
The 2 males had met twice beforehand in kickboxing earlier than they joined the UFC. Pereira had received each bouts, changing into the one man to ever knock out Adesanya.
Adesanya landed the primary decisive blow of the night time with a one-two that had Pereira reeling but it surely got here within the last seconds of the primary spherical, permitting the 35-year-old to recuperate for the following spherical.
And the defending champion’s onslaught continued within the subsequent three rounds, leaving Adesanya forward on all three judges’ scorecards going into the fifth and last spherical.
Conscious that he wanted to search out the end within the fifth spherical, Pereira unleashed all his energy and Adesanya in the end couldn’t provide a response.
In the meantime, within the co-main occasion, Zhang Weili received the ladies’s strawweight Championship, the second title of her profession, by defeating Carla Esparaza by submission with a rear-naked choke within the second spherical.
“As we speak is sort of a dream come true. Ever since I misplaced the belt, I’ve dreamt of this second,” she mentioned afterwards, in accordance with the BBC.