This past Saturday, former middleweight champion Adesanya took on longtime rival Alex Pereira in the headlining bout of UFC 281. He went into the bout looking to tie mixed martial arts icon Anderson Silva’s record for the longest win streak. He appeared to be on his way to getting the nod on the judges’ scorecards until Pereira unleashed a flurry of punches that forced referee Marc Goddard to call a stop to the contest.
Pereira became the new UFC middleweight champion in only his fourth showing under the banner. He now holds two wins over Adesanya, including a vicious left hook knockout in kickboxing and a standing TKO finish in MMA.
Following the result, company president Dana White indicated an immediate title rematch would not be out of the question.
Adesanya Shares Alarming ‘Medical’ Update After UFC 281 Loss
During the post-fight press conference, ‘Stylebender’ talked about losing his title to a familiar foe. He shared his thoughts on his likely return to the octagon, hinting at undisclosed medical ‘stuff.’
“It’s crazy, but yeah, I was fine,” said Adesanya. “First thing I said to coach Eugene or the ref, I was fine because I was still lucid. I was in there. But yeah, s**t happens. I talked to my coaches and I trust them. But I was fine. I could see everything. My eyes might have rolled back a little bit, but I was lucid.”
“I don’t disclose everything,” he added. “I’ve had some stuff, some medical stuff, that I’ve just put on the back burner, even stuff people make fun of me for. Yeah, I just got to look after myself, because my health comes first.”
He referenced the late Hollywood A-lister Chadwick Boseman while defending the criticism about his right pec muscle development.
“Think about Chadwick Boseman, when everyone was making fun of him, ‘oh, he looks so skinny and sleepy,’ not knowing behind the scenes he was fighting cancer. People always make fun of me about my chest and other things but they don’t know what I’m doing or going through in life.
“But I just keep everything on the back burner. I just got some things to fix first, but I’ll be back.”
Adesanya Wants a Rematch
‘Stylebender’ believes he was still in the fight and could have retained his title had a specific referee officiated the bout instead of the esteemed Goddard.
“F**k, my ego would say at least let me go out on my shield. But I don’t think I would have gone out because I was still there. I’ve seen worse stoppages. F**king bring back Steve Mazzagatti. I would have been fine. He might have won that round, but I’d still be champion.”
Considering how dominant he was at the top, Adesanya would like another go at Pereira in an immediate
“Of course, come on, man. This is my third fight in 10 months. Every time I fight, I risk losing what you guys deem as prestigious, which it is the belt and all that s**t. But nah, I put it on the line because I’m not just trying to fight once and then chill, do my lap around and parade as the champion and not risk so much.
“I put it on the line, and this is what happens. Again, dare to be great, and I am.”