ISRAEL ADESANYA’s reign as UFC middleweight champion came to a brutal end at Madison Square Garden.
The Last Stylebender was knocked out in the fifth round of a UFC 281 thriller at The World’s Most Famous Arena.
Israel Adesanya ate hellacious shots after being rocked by a huge hook[/caption]
Referee Marc Goddard waved off the contest after seeing The Last Stylebender take several unanswered shots[/caption]
The Nigerian-born New Zealander was up three rounds to one going into the closing minutes of the fifth and final stanza.
But a hellacious left hook from Pereira rocked the former champion and put him into survival mode.
Adesanya tried to utilise head movement to stave off the ensuing storm.
But he ate several unanswered strikes that prompted referee Marc Goddard to wave off the contest.
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An elated Pereira said: “I feel so blessed. I worked so hard for this.
“Sorry to everybody that I had to post some stuff, I had to do a little bit of trash talk this time.
“But I had to get in his head to get this fight.”
He added: “It was a very hard but just like Glover said, I was going through a fight every day at the gym.
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“For everybody that said I couldn’t do five rounds, look at what I did just now. I’m ready for the next.”
UFC 281 results
Israel Adesanya vs Alex Pereira – Pereira def. Adesanya via TKO (punches) – Round 5, 2:01
Carla Esparza vs Zhang Weili – Zhang def. Esparza via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:05
Dustin Poirier vs Michael Chandler – Poirier def. Chandler via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 2:00
Frankie Edgar vs Chris Gutierrez – Gutierrez def. Edgar via KO (knee) – Round 1, 2:01
Dan Hooker vs Claudio Puelles – Hooker def. Puelles via TKO (body kick) – Round 2, 4:06
Brad Riddell vs Renato Moicano – Moicano def. Riddell via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:20
Dominick Reyes vs Ryan Spann – Spann def. Reyes via KO (punches) – Round 1, 1:20
Molly McCann vs Erin Blanchfield – Blanchfield def. McCann via submission (kimura) – Round 1, 3:37
Andre Petroski vs Wellington Turman – Petroski def Turman via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Matt Frevola vs Ottman Azaitar – Frevola def. Azaitar via KO (punch) – Round 1, 2:30
Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs Silvana Gomez Juarez – 29-28, 29-28, 29-28
Michael Trizano vs Choi Seung-woo – Trizano def. Choi via KO (punches) – Round 1, 4:59
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Julio Arce vs Montel Jackson – Jackson def. Arce via unanimous decision (30–27, 30–27, 29–28)
Carlos Ulberg vs Nicolae Negumereanu – Ulberg def. Negumereanu via TKO – Round 1, 3:44