Israel Adesanya tasted victory once again in the UFC after knocking out Alex Pereira to regain the middleweight belt in Miami on Saturday night.
As «Last Stylebender» has done many times in the past, he delivered an iconic celebration after landing the final blows at UFC 287.
Pereira, who defeated Adesanya in November to strip him of the 185-pound belt, used a right knee to the face that pushed his opponent into the cage. But he wasn’t prepared for Adesanya’s two quick right hooks that dropped him to the canvas.
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A right hammerfist from Adesanya had the referee quickly moving between the fighters, and that was it: Adesanya was champion once again.
As the referee checked to make sure Pereira was okay, Adesanya stepped back and pulled invisible arrows from his back and «shot» them at Pereira before letting out a cheer of celebration.
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«I hope that every one of you behind the screen or in this arena can feel this level of happiness just once in your life,» Adesanya said in his post-fight interview. «But guess what, you’ll never feel this level of happiness if you’re not looking for something.»
Adesanya went on to a 24-2 career in the UFC, while Pereira is now 7-2. Adesanya has been in this position before, but never against Pereira, who kickboxed him twice before his November title win.
With this victory, Adesanya’s happiness was clearly shown.
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«They say that revenge is sweet,» he added. «And if you know me, I have a sweet tooth.»
Adesanya quickly became a ticket-worthy headliner after breaking into the UFC in 2018. He displayed confidence and had the track record to back him up, while his infectious personality made him a fan favorite.
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Now he is back at the top of his weight division. But could there be a third round of this budding rivalry between Adesanya and Pereira in the future?