Video Credit: CBS Sports

New FSM Essential Recap: UFC 287 Pereira vs Adesanya 2


UFC 287 concludes after a night full of unforgettable violence

UFC 287 Pereira vs Adesanya 2 took place Saturday at Miami-Dade Arena.

The UFC’s first event in Miami was a night that was well worth the 20-year wait. From the prelims to the main card, UFC 287 provided shocking upsets and memorable finishes that showed just how insane the world of MMA can genuinely be. The most memorable moment came at the night’s peak as the former champion, Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya, looked to regain his title against his biggest rival and middleweight champion, Alex “Poatan” Pereira. 

Who would win the match in UFC 287 Pereira vs Adesanya 2?

Stylebender aims and fires to regain the middleweight title

UFC 287 Pereira vs Adesanya 2 was starting the fans couldn’t wait for the fight!

UFC 287 Israel Adesanya stating over Alex Pereira
Photo Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

It’s difficult to discuss UFC 287, specifically Israel Adesanya, without biased influence.

Throughout his three-year reign, I became a fan of “The Last Stylebender.” The creative walkout performances and unapologetic self-expression caught my attention, but the pure dominance and warrior spirit made me fully buy into the greatness of Israel Adesanya.

Saturday night at the Miami-Dade Arena, that greatness was on full display as Israel Adesanya (24-2-0) defeated Alex Pereira (7-2-0) via second-round knockout to regain the middleweight title. The story of this rivalry only enhanced my fandom of Adesanya and had me on the edge of my couch from the start of the first round.

The tension between Adesanya and Pereira could be felt through the television screen as both men started the round with quick leg kicks and faints. Pereira landed first with a quick, heavy lower-leg kick that instantly looked to cause damage. Adesanya responded quickly with a combo of kicks to the body and leg. Both fighters looked evenly matched through the end of the first round as each took turns throwing violent strikes and avoiding the other’s shots with masterful movement.

After a slow first round, would we see more action in UFC 287 Pereira vs Adesanya 2?

After a timid first round, Adesanya and Pereira returned to the second round with aggression.

UFC 287 Pereira vs Adesanya 2 would have an epic and unforgettable second round. 

UFC 287 Israel Adesanya KO's Alex Pereira
Photo Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Adesanya quickly threw the first shot with a head kick attempt that barely missed the mark.  The Nigerian fighter proceeded to throw a beautiful question mark kick that, again, grazed the forehead of Periera. After enduring Adesanya’s strikes, it was Pereira’s turn, and “Poatan” began to come forward.

At this point, it was hard not to feel nervous for Adesanya. The power of Pereira perfectly matches his nickname “Poatan” or “Stone Hand.” His previous fights showed that power, especially after finishing Adesanya to take the title in 2022. It was nerve-racking knowing at any minute, Pereira could press on the gas and unleash that unstoppable power.

That’s exactly what the Brazilian fighter had in mind as he began throwing powerful hook shots, forcing Adesanya against the fence. This was Adesanya’s similar position when Pereira finished him in their previous fight. However, “Stylebender” had no interest in repeating history and returned to Pereira with his own combos to escape being pinned against the fence.

Despite escaping the lousy position, Adesanya was still in a dangerous spot. As Adesanya moved to avoid the fence, Pereira continued to push forward and caused damage from a distance by targeting the lower legs of his opponent. Each kick was powerful and began to visibly bother Adesanya as the round dwindled to the final minutes.

In the final minute of the round, Pereira forced Adesanya against the fence again. Pereira seemed more confident in his power and knew he had Adesanya in a position to finish the fight. As Pereira landed another shot to the lower leg, Adesanya proceeded to guard his face to avoid a finishing blow. This looked like Pereira’s moment. The Brazilian fighter completely unleashed on his opponent and began throwing shots to finish Adesanya.

The fight was beginning to look painfully similar to the previous bout as Adesanya seemed to be in survival mode as Pereira unloaded his shots. Just as it seemed Pereira was about to land the finishing blow, Adesanya timed out a perfect over-right hook that landed and jerked Pereira backward in his stance. “Poatan” seemed frozen from the well-timed punch as Adesanya delivered the same strike again to cause Pereira to lose consciousness. Adesanya followed through with a third hook that knocked the unconscious Pereira backward and then finished with a final hammer fist strike to seal the finish.

Once it was clear he had knocked out the man who had haunted him his entire career, Israel Adesanya stood up and imitated Pereira’s bow and arrow celebration, shooting three arrows into the unconscious body of Pereira, one for each loss he suffered at the hand of “Poatan.”

It was both exciting and stressful to watch this rivalry come to a close on Saturday night. As great as Adesanya is, there is no denying how dangerous Pereira stands as an opponent. The fight was intense from the jump and had moments where it could have easily ended the other way.

But just as he has done throughout his career, Israel Adesanya wore his heart on his sleeve and delivered a masterclass performance, reminding everyone of the greatness of “The Last Stylebender.” 

UFC 287 Pereira vs Adesanya 2 saw Izzy reclaim the title and get his revenge.

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-Griffin Kemp – Franchise Sports Media

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