In one of the most electric UFC events in the past couple of years, Israel Adesanya reclaimed his throne as middleweight champion and king as he knocked out in shocking fashion his arch- rival Alex Pereira. After Pereira seemed to be in control of the fight in round 1 and had Adesanya pinned to the fence early in round two, Adesanya decided to let his hands go. He was able to jab Pereira and then throw two devastating shots that knocked out the champion cold. Adesanya quickly finished him on the ground with two head shots as the referee stepped in to stop the fight.
Meanwhile in the co-main event, Jorge Masvidal lost to Gilbert Burns and in his ring interview with Joe Rogan announced that he was retiring from the sport. With such drama and excitement surrounding one of the most electric UFC events in recent memory, here are the major takeaways from UFC 287:
Israel Adesanya is the undisputed middleweight “GOAT”– Izzy has seven title defenses at middleweight and has already cleared out his division. His only blemish was losing to his arch-rival Alex Pereira, who had not only beaten him twice in their kickboxing days, but had TKO’d him at UFC 281. In the rematch, Adesanya baited Pereira and produced one of the most violent and iconic knockouts in UFC history. The undisputed champ answered the call and not only regained his belt, but finally was able to slay the dragon that was Pereira.
Jorge Masvidal retires– Masvidal lost to Gilbert Burns at UFC 287. For Masvidal it was his fourth straight loss after losing twice to Usman, once to Colby and finally to Gilbert Burns. In all four fights only three judges gave him a single round. Masvidal, who began fighting in the streets of Miami in organized street fighting leagues, retired in Miami as one of the most iconic fighters to ever grace the Octagon.
Gilbert Burns ready for a title shot– After a dominant victory over Masvidal and essentially ending his career, Burns is now looking to fight for the welterweight title. For the 36-year-old Burns, who has fought all comers, a championship belt is all that he is missing. He threatened to retire if he does not get the title shot versus the winner of champion Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington targeted for July. When UFC Owner Dana White was made aware of Burns demands, he agreed that Burns would indeed get that title shot.
Raul Rosas Jr. hype train stopped in its tracks– The 18-year-old made history when he became the youngest fighter in UFC history to win a UFC fight. Rosas was brash after his first victory talking not only about clearing his division, but becoming the first ever three-weight champion. But Christian Rodriguez mauled Rosas, dominating him on the ground. For Rosas this is a moment to reassess his attitude and the holes in his game. Rosas striking was wildly inaccurate and was not able to handle Rodriguez’s experience in the Octagon.
Miami became a prime UFC location– UFC President Dana White was effusive with his praise for Miami, the host city of UFC 287. Miami’s gate of $11.9 million became the highest grossing gate in UFC history, surpassing New York City in Madison Square Garden. Dana White compared Miami to Los Angeles a decade ago, and commented on how alive the city is with packed restaurants and entertainment at 1:00 AM. When pressed if the UFC would be back to Miami, Dana White confirmed it and it seems Miami is now locked in to become an annual city that the UFC visits.
Donald Trump stole the show– The 45th President of the United States was in attendance at UFC 287 in Miami. When the crowd saw him come in with an entourage that included Mike Tyson, Kid Rock and UFC President Dana White, the crowd exploded with cheers and chants of “USA,USA”. Trump’s popularity amongst UFC fans continues to surge to sky high levels.
UFC 287 card and results
• Israel Adesanya def. Alex Pereira (c) via second-round TKO
• Gilbert Burns def. Jorge Masvidal via unanimous decision
• Rob Font def. Adrian Yanez via first-round TKO
• Kevin Holland def. Santiago Ponzinibbio via third-round TKO
• Christian Rodriguez def. Raul Rosas Jr. via unanimous decision
• Kelvin Gastelum def. Chris Curtis via unanimous decision
• Luana Pinheiro def. Michelle Waterson via split decision
• Joe Pyfer def. Gerald Meerschaert via first-round TKO
• Loopy Godinez def. Cynthia Calvillo via split decision
• Ignacio Bahamondes def. Trey Ogden via unanimous decision
• Steve Garcia def. Shayilan Nuerdanbieke via second-round TKO
• Sam Hughes def. Jaqueline Amorim via unanimous decision
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