New Chapter in One of UFC’s Most Heated Rivalries

New Chapter in One of UFC’s Most Heated Rivalries

On April 8th, millions of people around the globe checked in for the late-night fight card of the UFC. UFC 287, held in Miami, welcomed some of the top fighters of the world-class mixed martial arts league. The 287th version of UFC included some of the biggest upcoming stars such as Raul Rosas Jr, as while as hosting seasoned veterans such as Kelvin Gasteltum, Kevin Holland, Rob Font, and Adrian Yanez. The main event between Gilbert Burns and Jorge Masvidal, two welterweight contenders, resulted in fireworks but ended with a decision win for Burns and the retirement of Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal. 

However, this fight night was headlined by the much-anticipated rematch of Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya and Alex “Poatan” Periera. Although this was only the second meeting of the two in the Ultimate Fighter Championship, they have a storied rivalry that dates back to their kickboxing days when they fought twice in the GLORY Middleweight Championship.

These two matchups in GLORY went poorly for “Izzy” Adesanya, as he was knocked out twice. After one of the fights, Periera’s son mocked Adesanya by going into the middle of the ring, pointing at “Izzy,” hitting himself in the head and falling backward to pretend he was just knocked out cold.

This trend continued in the UFC when Periera stole the middleweight belt from Adesanya, handing him all three of his career losses. However, this fight was a split decision where Periera barely won on the judge’s scorecards. Adesanya had a late rally, and many UFC fans speculate that if he had just five to ten more seconds, he would have knocked Periera out and won the match.

The first round of the fight came and went with very little drama. Although there were many big hits, nobody was knocked to the ground. As the second round rolled around, Periera, a more traditional stand-up boxer, decided to pick it up and shoot on all cylinders. As he prompted his attack, “Izzy” cornered himself against the cage and covered himself for all hits. He waited as he was being pummeled, and at the perfect moment, he delivered a beautiful strike, ending the fight instantly. Adesanya mocked Pereira by pretending to shoot a bow and arrow at him as he lay on the ground three times. He then proceeded to walk over, point at Pereira’s son, and mock him by punching himself in the head and falling to the ground.

This win cemented the Style Bender’s legacy as one of the best UFC fighters ever as he regained his middleweight belt. Adesanya almost became the eighth UFC fighter in history to hold multiple championship belts at different weights but lost in a decision to Jan Blachowiscz. “Izzy” is doing something that has never been done in any professional fighting. He is “lapping” the division, as UFC President Dana White says. This means that Adesanya has beaten all of his top challengers and is running out of people to fight; he’s begun to have rematches with previous competitors.

This will go down in history as one of the greatest battles in Mixed Martial Arts history. Hopefully, there will be another rematch as Pereira is still in contention for another belt shot.