“Maybe he could have finished me” – Alex Pereira admits that Israel Adesanya hurt him at the end of the first round

Alex Pereira admits that Israel Adesanya hurt him at the end of the first round in the main event of UFC 281

Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira engaged in a thrilling fight in the main event of UFC 281. Pereira rallied to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and became the new undisputed middleweight champion.  Israel Adesanya came short in his conquest to avenge the two losses to Alex Pereira in kickboxing. At UFC 281, Adesanya dominated the majority of the fight before ‘Poatan’ rallied in the fifth round to get the finish. He defeated Adesanya for the third time, this time via TKO.

Israel Adesanya Alex Pereira
Alex Pereira landing on Israel Adesanya at UFC 281 (MMA Junkie)

In the final seconds of the first frame of the fight, Adesanya hurt Pereira with a stinging right hand and followed it up with a vicious left hook, but ‘Poatan’ was saved by the bell.

The Brazilian was clearly dazed and rattled by the combination but came back stronger in the second round. Adesanya went into the fifth round, already bagging three rounds. But Pereira spoiled the party and hurt Adesanya bad, replicating his two kickboxing victories over ‘The Last Stylebender’.

Speaking in a recent interview on The MMA Hour, Pereira admitted that he was hurt but his recovery has always been up to the mark:

“Few of the punches, I actually went to my corner thinking that I got hit just once . I did not even see the second punch , but it could have been over in thirty more seconds. Maybe he could have finished the fight. I recover super-fast. When the round was over, I didn’t know where to go. I kind of like grabbed my shorts and I’m like, ‘Somebody is gonna come get me,’ somebody came to get me. By the time I sat on the stool I was already fine.”

Alex Pereira blasts Israel Adesanya for saying that their fight was prematurely stopped

Israel Adesanya wasn’t satisfied by the stoppage of his fight against rival Alex Pereira at UFC 281. According to ‘The Last Stylebender’, he has seen worse stoppages and the referee should have let him go out on his guard. In wake of such comments, Alex Pereira has taken to Instagram to lash out at his rival’s comments.

Pereira defeated Adesanya for the middleweight championship at UFC 281. ‘Poatan’ won by standing TKO after staging an incredible comeback in the fifth round. Adesanya objected immediately to the early stoppage, claiming that he was not in immediate danger. “The Last Stylebender” then spoke with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour about the fight’s conclusion, explaining his thoughts on the outcome.

“Poatan” does not believe Adesanya was defending himself intelligently, and the referee did him a favour, which he made clear on a social media post:

“Adesanya stop making excuses saying that the referee stopped the fight early… you have to thank him for saving your life. The way you were with your head down looking at the ground, I only needed one or two more hits to connect a good knee to your face so we wouldn’t know the outcome.
As I said at that point in the video, you were a great opponent and I respect you for that.
Assume the mistakes along with your team without taking away my merits.
You will have one more chance!
You’re next!”

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