Fighters under contract with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) sitting in the front row to watch UFC 281 last night (Sat., Nov. 12, 2022) inside Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y., were visibly shocked and very saddened by Israel Adesanya's technical knockout loss.
Alex Pereira finished Adesanya in the fifth and final round to claim UFC’s Middleweight championship from the clutches of defeat in UFC 281’s pay-per-view (PPV) main event (watch highlights). Immediately after the fight was stopped, the front row — where all of the guest fighters sit — was filmed ... and it wasn't a very happy scene. In fact, it was depressing scene — everyone looked super disappointed and just plain sad.
Welterweight champion, Leon Edwards, can be seen covering his eyes, letting out a scream, while Featherweight kingpin, Alexander Volkanovski, can be seen falling to his knees. Bantamweight roost-ruler, Aljamain Sterling, interim Flyweight champion, Brandon Moreno, and Heavyweight deity Francis Ngannou, among others, are visibly shaken. Tim Simpson, Adesanya's manager and vice president of Paradigm Sports, is face down with his head in his hands.
Kevin and Leon going through it pic.twitter.com/0VFIqKFPSq— Out Of Context MMA (@oocmma) November 13, 2022
It was a pretty shocking upset, so the sadness is entirely understandable.
The loss to Pereira was Adesanya's first in the 185-pound division, snapping his 12-fight win streak in the weight class. It was also the New Zealander's first technical knockout loss in professional mixed martial arts (MMA).
Pereira has now beaten Adesanya three times, twice in kickboxing and now in MMA.
For complete UFC 281: “Adesanya Vs. Pereira” results and play-by-play, click HERE.