An intriguing Middleweight battle with title implications took place at UFC 276 tonight (Sat., July 2, 2022) inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, as No. 4-ranked contender, Sean Strickland, accepted a super dangerous fight against “Israel Adesanya Slayer,” Alex Pereira, which was featured on ESPN+ pay-per-view (PPV).
With the booking, Pereira was clearly fast-tracked to a potential 185-pound title shot, boasting just two wins inside the Octagon. Those kickboxing victories over Adesanya — who is competing in the main event opposite Jared Cannonier — certainly count for something. But, Strickland was riding a considerable wave of momentum, having won six in a row to remain unbeaten at 185 pounds.
It was essentially a sneaky title eliminator match right beneath our noses. And, in the end, it was Pereira’s precision striking — and Strickland’s thick head — that lead to a fantastic first round finish for the Brazilian kickboxer.
Strickland vowed to stand and trade with the lethal Pereira, and he came out of his corner ready to do just that, backing Pereira into the fence early. Pereira flicked low kicks to keep him at bay, landing a front kick and looking to land short elbows upstairs. Pereira started to get off his back foot after about two minutes, with Strickland landing a nice jab down the middle. Overhand right from Pereira landed clean, with Strickland continuing to march forward undeterred. He was playing a dangerous game and then, just like that, Pereira clipped Strickland with a crisp short left hook. Strickland fell to a knee, trying to find some safe cover, but Pereira drilled him with a perfect follow up straight right hand that put Strickland down for the count just like that.
Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
Final result: Pereira def. Strickland via first round knockout
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