UFC 287: Adesanya Exacts Revenge, Masvidal Retires

Israel Adesanya
Photo Courtesy: UFC, ESPN+

Just under five months ago, Alex Pereira shocked the world by knocking out Israel Adesanya in the fifth round at UFC 281. It was Pereira's third combat sports win over The Last Stylebender, and many fight fans turned on the former champion. On Saturday night, the undoubted future UFC hall of famer Adesanya entered the octagon as the challenger in an attempt to claim his title back from one of the most terrifying men on the UFC roster in Pereira. Poatan looked good for much of the fight, landing strikes with over 60% accuracy and tearing up the legs of Adesanya with calf kicks. However, Adesanya seemed rather unaffected by the powerful strikes of Pereira and continued to size him up with a look of unrelenting determination. Things started to look grim for Adesanya in the second round when Pereira landed a knee to the head with Adesanya's back to the cage, then out of nowhere Adesanya countered with a massive right hand that stunned Pereira. One more huge right sent the Brazilian to the canvas and Adesanya channeled all his emotion into a final hammer fist that left his opponent completely out cold. It was one of the most spectacular counter-strike knockouts in the history of mixed martial arts. Adesanya, always a performer, pantomimed Pereira's signature bow-and-arrow celebration in the direction of the fallen warrior. The overwhelming joy of Adesanya after defeating the only man that seemed to be his kryptonite at middleweight was special to watch.

In other major news coming out of the main card, Jorge Masvidal announced his retirement after suffering defeat at the hands of Gilbert Burns. Burns looked very sharp in the fight, taking down Masvidal multiple times throughout the three rounds, maintaining excellent ground control, and landing solid strikes on his feet. He deserved the unanimous decision win and has set himself up for a title shot against the winner of Leon Edwards' title defense against Colby Covington. As for Masvidal, he told the hometown fans in Miami that he didn't feel the same way that he used to in the octagon and that it was time to ride off into the sunset. His legacy in the UFC will always be remembered for the unforgettable year he had in 2019 when he knocked out Ben Askren in 5 seconds with a flying knee, then won the "BMF" belt in a fan-favorite match against Nate Diaz. He has left a mark on the sport that will live on for decades to come.

Introducing Martial Arts School Listings on Black Belt Mag!
Sign Up Now To Be One Of The First School Listed In Our Database.
Don't miss a single issue of the worlds largest magazine of martial arts.