Pereira faced former middleweight champion Adesanya in the headlining bout of UFC 281 this past weekend. He got off to a solid start and faced resistance from ‘Stylebender’ in a competitive affair. Adesanya had him hurt at the end of the first round. But Pereira recovered quickly and pulled off an incredible comeback in the fifth round, unleashing a vicious flurry of punches that forced referee Marc Goddard to call a stop to the contest.
Following ‘Poatan’s crowning moment as the new 185-pound king, there was criticism from some fans and fighters regarding the result. There was speculation about whether ‘Stylebender’ could have gone on considering the finish was a standing TKO.
Adesanya claimed he looked wobbled from the damage to his peroneal nerve and not from the multiple punches combination landed by Pereira.
Pereira Responds to Adesanya’s Claims of ‘Early Stoppage’
“Adesanya stop making excuses saying that the referee stopped the fight early,” wrote Pereira. “You have to thank him for saving your life. The way you were with your head down looking at the ground, I only needed one or two more hits to connect a good knee to your face so we wouldn’t know the outcome.”
He shared a clip showing the interaction between the two striking experts after the result and indicated he would give Adesanya an immediate title rematch.
“As I said at that point in the video, you were a great opponent and I respect you for that. Assume the mistakes along with your team without taking away my merits.
“You will have one more chance! You’re next!”
Adesanya Didn’t Blame the Referee but Insisted He Was Fine To Continue
In a recent appearance on “The MMA Hour” with Ariel Helwani, Adesanya opened up about suffering the first loss of his professional mixed martial arts career at 185 pounds. While he did not blame referee Goddard, Adesanya insisted he could have gone longer.
“I can’t blame him, though,” Adesanya said (transcribed by MMA Fighting). “You saw me in the Gastelum fight. He reffed the Gastelum fight. He should have stopped the Gastelum fight.
“Literally, I was looking and I was like, ‘OK, he’s going to swing and miss, and swing and miss, and when he gets tired, he’s either going to clinch, and I’m going to take him down, or I can get the angle on him and hit him and then do my work, put him on the fence.’”
“Again, I’m a champion,” he added. “I don’t blame him. Marc’s a good referee. But you reffed the Gastelum fight, you’ve seen where I can go to, you should have that kind of faith in me.
“Also, you gave Kelvin Gastelum every chance, after he got the most in any title fight in the UFC’s history. I didn’t get dropped. Yeah, I got wobbled, but I wobbled because of my leg. … Again, you’re under the pump, it’s a big show, it is what it is.”