LAFrank Franklin Ii/Associated PressBEL

Israel Adesanya, the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s longtime middleweight champion, strolled slowly into the octagon at U.F.C. 281 against Alex Pereira, a man whom Adesanya said he would expose.

LAFrank Franklin Ii/Associated PressBEL

Alex Pereira defeated Israel Adesanya via technical knockout in the fifth round to claim the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s middleweight title, ending Adesanya’s reign atop the division and likely setting up a rematch sometime in the future.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Adesanya joined the UFC in 2018 after losing his last kickboxing bout against Pereira. Winning the UFC middleweight title in 2019, he has defended the belt five times.

The UFC strawweight title is also on the line as Carla Esparza defends the title against Zhang Weili. A two-time champion, Esparza won the belt during the finale of The Ultimate Fighter in 2014 but lost it against Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

Pereira wins via technical knockout.

Adesanya takes Round 4. Controlled the clinch and did more work with grappling against the fence.

10-9 for Pereira in Round 2, I think. Controlled the clinch exchanges, had solid body shots and then had a takedown at the end of the round.

From the cageside view, Alex Pereira is noticeably bigger than Adesanya,

As Adesanya retreated to the fence, Pereira followed and peppered him with punches to the face, stunning him and nearly knocking him unconscious.

Do you like this story