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UFC 287 results: Biggest winners, loser from ‘Pereira vs. Adesanya 2’ last night

UFC 287 went down last night (Sat., April 8, 2023) in Miami, Fla., providing fight fans with a stacked card full of action. In the main event of the evening, Israel Adesanya knocked out Alex Pereira to reclaim the Middleweight strap in the second round (see it again here). In UFC 287’s co-main event, Gilbert Burns dominated Jorge Masvidal with a great mixture of striking and wrestling to earn a unanimous decision win (recap here). In further action, Kevin Holland scored a highlight-reel knockout win over Santiago Ponzinibbio (relive it here).

UFC 287: Pereira v Adesanya 2 Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Biggest Winner: Israel Adesanya

Not only did “The Last Stylebender” reclaim the 185-pound crown, he did it in wildly-impressive fashion, flattening Pereira with two perfectly-timed right hands. While getting the belt back was important for Adesanya, it was just as important to finally get a win over his long-time combat sports rival who had bested him three times prior. And you can tell how much it meant to "Izzy" shortly after his win, letting out all of his emotions in his post-fight celebration and speech. As a result of his big win, Adesanya now has his confidence and swagger back (not that he ever lost much of it) and will use that to propel him forward should a trilogy fight get booked in the near future.

UFC 287: Rosas v Rodriguez Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Runner (s) Up: Christian Rodriguez, Rob Font

Rodriguez refused to buy into the Raul Rosas Jr. hype, taking it upon himself to derail that train before it picked up any kind of steam by defeating the 18-year-old prospect via unanimous decision after 15 minutes of action. Rodriguez was a cool customer the entire fight, even when he was in trouble in the opening frame with Rosas Jr. draped all over his back looking for a rear-naked choke. Undeterred, Rodriguez didn’t panic one bit, which allowed him to escape from various precarious positions to ultimately pull out the win and halt the up-and-comer’s progression.

UFC 287: Font v Yanez Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Coming into his fight against Adrian Yanez, Font was in desperate need of a win because he had lost his previous two fights against Jose Aldo and Marlon Vera. Knowing he couldn’t lose his third straight, Font stormed out of the gate and put on one of the best boxing displays we’ve seen in a one-round fight, putting it on his foe, tagging him at will thanks to the setup from his jab. Halfway through the round, the New England Cartel-trained fighter clipped Yanez with a thunderous right uppercut/hook that floored him, leading to a nasty ground-and-pound finish. The win gives Font a new lease on his UFC life and reminds the rest of the Bantamweight division that he is still as dangerous as ever.

UFC 287: Rosas Jr. v Rodriguez Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Biggest Loser: Raul Rosas Jr.

Look, Rosas Jr. is just 18 years old and a UFC newbie, so I am not going to go in on him too hard because he still has a very bright future ahead of him. That said, his first loss so early in his career, while detrimental, should be a lesson, and that is to not buy into your own hype and get ahead of yourself. The young up-and-comer was already calling for a Top 15 fighter after just his first UFC win. Sure, you can respect the confidence, but this is the big leagues and you just can’t jump into the deep end and his loss to Rodriguez proves that. He fought a man not close to the Top 15 and got worked, and it showed the young fighter that there are several levels to the fight game and that walking the walk after taking the talk isn’t as easy as it seems. You can’t fault Rosas Jr. for being confident, but this fight showed that he obviously still has a lot to learn — especially to not telegraph his takedowns from a mile away. The bright side is that, again, he is just 18 years of age so he has so much time to get better and to polish his skills to eventually get into the mix. But, all of the three-division champion talk after just one UFC win needs to be put in the back-burner for a long while.

For complete UFC 287 results and coverage click here.

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