Israel Adesanya defeated Alex Pereira in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 287 to reclaim the middleweight championship.
Sunday morning, the fight took place at the FTX Arena in Miami, Florida.
The mixed martial artist of Nigerian descent knocked out the Brazilian in the fourth minute of the second round.
This is Adesanya’s first victory over Pereira, who knocked him out in the fifth round in November 2022 and took the title from him.
Additionally, the Brazilian had defeated him twice prior to their fight at Madison Square Garden in New York.
In their most recent bout, however, Adesanya displayed an improvement in his discipline, which had previously cost him against Pereira. He maintained a laser-like concentration throughout the indistinct exchanges of kicks and punches.
Despite the consistent annoyance caused by Pereira’s low kicks to his right calf, he maintained his mask of control throughout the first round.
In the second round, however, he abandoned his reserved, calculated posture and launched a series of attacks against the Brazilians.
Although Periera initially countered Adesanya’s movements and pinned him with a flurry of punches to the corner, the Nigerian-born fighter escaped the trap with a vicious left hook, followed by a more incapacitating right cross-jab that knocked Periera to the ground.
The referee was compelled to stop the fight after Adesanya completed the knockout with ground-and-pound.
Adesanya’s victory over Pereira is his 24th in his tenure in mixed martial arts (MMA), and he had previously suffered only two defeats.