The world is still buzzing about Alex Pereira and his shocking fifth-round knockout of former UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya at UFC 281.
Minutes away from certain defeat, Pereira kicked it into overdrive and delivered a flurry of strikes that stunned Adesanya. Trapped against the fence, ‘The Last Stylebender’ was unable to muster any offense of his own during a 10-second barrage of strikes that prompted referee Marc Goddard to step in and call for the stoppage, crowning a new middleweight world champion.
No. 1 ranked bantamweight contender Sean O’Malley discussed the epic main event alongside his coach Tim Welch on the latest episode of the TimboSugarShow on YouTube.
“Izzy was, what, 2-3 minutes away? Two-minutes away. The only time he was getting cracked or even had any time like he was in danger was up against the cage. Way easier said than done. My whole style is fighting off the cage. Trying to not be on the cage. Doing that for 25-minutes takes serious focus. Not even that Izzy lost focus, that’s just how good Pereira is, but god dammit dude, 25-minutes. Pereira had to land the one shot.
“The thing is, Izzy almost knocked him out at the end of the first. So every time Izzy landed, I was like, ‘Oh sh*t.’ He’s landing clean too, but Alex is so… How is he so big, dude? I feel like that would be me walking around at 175 then cut down to 135. How does he do it? I don’t get it.”
Alex Pereira ends the Israel Adesanya reign pic.twitter.com/ONEgbNmUY2
— Troydan (@Troydan) November 13, 2022
Sean O’Malley Agreed With the Highly Debated Stoppage Between Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya
The moment referee Marc Goddard stepped in to call for a stoppage in the UFC 281 main event, fans and some fighters immediately began debating as to whether or not the stoppage was too early. Even Adesanya himself appeared to protest Goddard’s call, but in the end, ultimately accepted it and the loss to Alex Pereira. Sharing his thoughts on the stoppage, Sean O’Malley said:
“I like the stoppage just because I like Izzy so much. If you don’t like Izzy, you’re like, ‘Early stoppage!’ That was trending in a bad way. I would way rather see it be an early stoppage than see Izzy get KO’d and take two years off his career potentially. Like that Frankie [Edgar] KO would have been bad for Izzy.”
All things considered, Israel Adesanya has handled his loss to Alex Pereira with nothing, but class and respect. ‘The Last Stylebender’ spoke to UFC roving reporter Megan Olivi backstage following the event and even appeared on ‘The MMA Hour‘ with Ariel Helwani just two days removed from the upset.
“Izzy seems like he’s handling it like a f*cking champion. Him and Kamaru Usman handled it so well, but how crazy is that? Both guys going into the fifth round, winning the fight this year, and then get f*cking finished. That’s crazy.”