In a headline event at UFC 287, Israel Adesanya, a professional mixed martial artist of Nigerian-New Zealander descent, impressively knocked out his opponent, Alex Pereira from Brazil, in the second round. The Adesanya-Pereira rivalry had intensified leading up to this fourth fight between them, as Pereira had previously beaten Adesanya twice in Kickboxing and once in their mixed martial arts bout in November of the previous year. Adesanya struck Pereira with a powerful right hook before securing the victory with a few combinations and a forceful hammer fist, leaving Pereira unconscious. This spectacular knockout triumph allowed “The Last Stylebender” to regain his middleweight title at UFC 287 and finally obtain long-awaited revenge against his longstanding rival.
Despite his victory, Israel Adesanya showed great sportsmanship, stating “They say revenge is sweet and, if you know me, I’ve got a sweet tooth. This is f***ing sweet. I’m telling you, no matter what, Alex is a great champion. He lost the belt tonight, but he will always be a champion.” He also offered words of encouragement to viewers both in attendance and at home, urging them to pursue their dreams and overcome obstacles, “I hope every one of you can feel this level of happiness for one time in your life. But guess what – you’ll never feel this level of happiness if you don’t go for something in your life. When they knock you down, if you stay down you will never get that resolve. Fortify your mind and feel this level of happiness. I’m blessed to feel this again and again and again.”