On Saturday, Pereira faced Israel Adesanya for the middleweight title in the main event of UFC 281, and through 20 minutes, things were not going great for the challenger. Though Pereira had his moments, he was nearly finished in the first round and was clearly down on the scorecards heading into the final round. Pereira’s corner told him as much and so, with five minutes left, “Poatan” came out with everything he had, clipping Adesanya midway through the final round and unloading a barrage of punches that caused referee Marc Goddard to intervene. It was a tremendous comeback victory for Pereira and one that Cormier puts down to the coach Glover Teixeira being honest with his fighter.
“I think the key was Glover Teixeira and his team letting Alex Pereira know, very sternly, ‘If you want to be the champion, you’ve got five minutes. You’ve got to lay it all out there.’ And that’s exactly what he did,” Cormier said on his YouTube channel. “He went out there and threw caution to the wind. Generally, we don’t see guys press Adesanya that much, because the danger in him countering is so great that they don’t want to risk it. Well tonight, Pereira knew that if he didn’t risk it, he was going to lose the fight, and he got the job done in round five.”
But while Pereira’s comeback has mostly been praised, it was not without some controversy. Because Goddard stopped the fight while Adesanya was still on his feet, some, including Adesanya, protested the stoppage as too early. But Cormier isn’t having any of that.
“There are people guys, people in the know, who said, ‘I’m not sure I love the stoppage.’ Doesn’t matter. That was a great stoppage, because there’s nothing worse than being finished in a fight,” Cormier said. “Because your body and your mind tells you, ‘Grab him, slow him down, give yourself an opportunity,’ but there’s nothing you can do. Your body fails you. You start flailing. We’ve never seen Israel Adesanya with his hands down, taking shots like that. It would have only gotten worse. So I do love the stoppage. It was a just stoppage. It should have happened because it was only going to get worse. This guy hits too hard. You don’t want to take unnecessary damage from Alex Pereira because he hits so hard.
“And also knowing you’re going to get an immediate rematch. I know it sucks to lose the belt, but the longterm damage Adesanya would have taken by just getting put to sleep, he might not recover from that. Especially from a guy that’s done it to you twice.”
Regardless, Pereira is now the middleweight champion of the world, and did so in only his eighth professional MMA bout. It’s a remarkable accomplishment and one that Cormier says shows just how good Teixeira and the team he’s working with are.
“Now Alex Pereira is the middleweight champion with only four fights in the UFC,” Cormier said. “Glover Teixeira fights next month for the championship and guys, that little gym in Connecticut may have two UFC champions. That’s what tells you, it’s not about the big gym as much as it used to be. It’s about putting yourself in a situation where you can be successful, and that’s exactly what Glover and them are doing right now.”
Results. Alex Pereira and Weili Zhang became new champions at UFC 281.
Stoppage. Israel Adesanya: ‘I was fine’ when UFC 281 main event was stopped, ‘bring back Steve Mazzagatti.’
Boxing. John Fury rips off T-shirt, Tommy Fury rages after Jake Paul relentlessly heckles exhibition.
RIP. Two-time UFC title challenger Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson dead at 38.
UFC 281 Post Show.
UFC 281 Post-Fight Press Conference.
UFC 282 trailer.
Floyd Mayweather’s ridiculous boxing exhibition.
On To The Next One. Matches to make following UFC 281.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
What an honor it was to have known this man. A grate example and inspiration for all around him! Rest in peace AJ. pic.twitter.com/1jRyiG5Nm4— Vicente Luque (@VicenteLuqueMMA) November 13, 2022
Very sad day for all of us the MMA community, Great guy, one of the most dangerous fighter of history, Rest in Peace Champ pic.twitter.com/TImFpJcVrF— Thiago “Marreta” Santos (@TMarretaMMA) November 13, 2022
RIP MY BROTHER ❤️ we talked a couple of months ago wishing each other health and blessing. One of the most humble people , a real fighters fighter and ko specialist. Life is short so cherish yours and others. Until we meet again my brother ❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/qrvbUe3dK3— JIMI MANUWA (@POSTERBOYJM) November 14, 2022
I discovered one of the greatest talents in MMA history outta LA hitting mitts at a small hole in a wall Chute Box gym. I asked him to train with me as I was getting ready for my upcoming fight. He was bigger, he was stronger and he respected that I had a fight coming up.. pic.twitter.com/y3qpqbd9Rb— Josh Thomson (@THEREALPUNK) November 13, 2022
From that moment on we became the best of friends. We helped build a couple businesses together, we worked on several projects together to help build a future after fighting. You were a real one and I saw that from the jump. You’ll always be my guy, you’ll always be my brother.— Josh Thomson (@THEREALPUNK) November 13, 2022
Tragic news about AJ. Just hearing about it now. So sad.— Jon Fitch ☠️ (@jonfitchdotnet) November 14, 2022
Anthony always treated me with so much kindness and respect. RIP Rumble https://t.co/CQr4XcKY59— Megan Olivi (@MeganOlivi) November 13, 2022
When he stole my 50k bonus at UFC 202 we used to joke about that all the time! https://t.co/oyky0iHQQn— Cody Garbrandt (@Cody_Nolove) November 14, 2022
The only reason I am fighting is tied to rumble. I came to AKA in 2015 to help push DC wrestling before his first title fight w Rumble. Was here a week and they convinced me to fight. Prayers to rumbles loved ones.— Deron Winn (@DeronWinn) November 14, 2022
Sad day for the MMA world. Still setting in for me that we lost another really good person. RIP Anthony Johnson— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) November 14, 2022
Rumble in Peace, my friend.— Dan Hardy (@danhardymma) November 14, 2022
Such a huge loss... pic.twitter.com/c7QY7BRNS1
Strange but maybe true.
If bo nickal fought for title right now he would win that’s what’s funny about the “best in the world” stuff— Brian BOOM Kelleher (@brianboom135) November 14, 2022
Top athletes in the world, and they’ve gotta do this.
Nonetheless it should be a good interimming— Arnold billy allen (@Arnoldbfa) November 14, 2022
YOU WONT YOU WONT YOU DIDNT YOU DIDNT YOU WONT YOU DIDNT YOU WONT YOU WONT YOU WONT— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) November 13, 2022
Thanks for reading! See y’all tomorrow.
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