New UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya caught some flak over the weekend due to his post-fight antics.
At UFC 287, Adesanya viciously KO’d longtime nemesis Alex Pereira in the second round to regain the middleweight crown. Prior to the event, Adesanya was 0-3 against ‘Poatan’, who had bested him twice in their kickboxing days and once in MMA.
Last year, at UFC 281, Pereira won the middleweight gold from Adesanya with a fifth-round TKO. The defeat marked Adesanya’s first and, to date, only loss at 185lbs in MMA.
After the win, ‘The Last Stylebender’ gestured to Pereira’s son in the front row before jokingly flopping over, impersonating Pereira’s knockout fall in round two. Adesanya’s actions, while considered funny in some circles, were deemed distasteful in others.
“Always Respect Your Elders” – Israel Adesanya On Alex Pereira’s Son
Israel Adesanya’s second kickboxing loss to Alex Pereira saw him fall via KO. It was the first knockout loss of his professional combat sports career. Shortly after the final bell, Adesanya’s collapse from Pereira’s killer left hook was cruelly mocked by ‘Poatan’s son, who had entered the ring.
Evidently, even six years later, the mockery played on Adesanya’s mind. ‘The Last Stylebender’ recently posted relatively unseen footage of Alex Pereira and his sons to his Twitter. During the video, Pereira’s son discusses mocking Adesanya’s collapse, explaining his actions.
Interestingly, despite all the animosity and trash talk heading into their fourth collision, Adesanya and Pereira shared a moment of good sportsmanship after the fight. After exchanging some respectufl words, the pair seemingly put their long-running rivalry to rest.
UFC 287 marked the first time Israel Adesanya entered a middleweight title bout as the challenger since 2019. After his Fight of the Night-winning performance, it’s looking very likely Adesanya will not be a challenger at 185lbs again any time soon.