Legendary UFC Fighter Faces One Guy He Can’t Beat – 5th Round TKO Leaves Fans Stunned

Israel Adesanya is one of the most talented and decorated UFC fighters in history. The fact that he’s still active and has repeatedly won at the highest levels of both kickboxing and mixed martial arts makes Adesanya something of a legendary figure in the professional fight scene.

But much like how legendary figures such as Batman, Godzilla, and Ronald Reagan had ceaseless rivals like the Joker, King Kong and communism, respectively, there’s one fighter that will apparently be a thorn in Adesanya’s side for the rest of time — Alex Pereira.

If not a thorn, at least a stone.

“I’m like the stone in his shoe,” Pereira told ESPN leading up to UFC 281, which was headlined by the much anticipated main event of Pereira versus Adesanya.

This particular rivalry started in 2016. The two met in a Chinese kickboxing promotion, with Adesanya riding an 18 fight winning streak (in both MMA and kickboxing) and Pereira being a relative nobody. The latter had only had had about 15 kickboxing matches total and was winless against elite competition.

That changed when Pereira beat Adesanya via unanimous decision in their first fight together. Pereira snapped that 18 fight winning streak, despite Adesanya’s claims that he should’ve won the fight because Pereira’s face looked more banged up.

The first fight felt much more like a blip then trend, however. Pereira split his next two fights, while Adesanya won seven in a row.

In 2017, the two squared off again, and at least at the start of the fight, it appeared like Adesanya had figured out what went wrong the first time. Adesanya dominated the fight until an unexpected flurry from Pereira in the third round. Pereira had just handed Adesanya his first-ever knockout loss on that stage.

Keep the recap of that 2017 in mind. It’ll sound eerily familiar in a second.

Fast forward five years to Saturday night. Adesanya, at this point a megastar in the professional fighting world, once again fought Pereira.

Adesanya, once again, showed why he is ESPN’s No. 2 ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the entire UFC. He dominated four rounds, and looked to be cruising to a decision win in the fifth round.

“I said, ‘Do I have to knock him out?'” Pereira recounted asking his trainer, per ESPN via an interpreter.

Once he learned that he likely lost every round, Pereira knew what he had to do:

A sudden flurry from Pereira forced the referee to deem Adesanya as being unable to defend himself, and the fight was called.

Unsurprisingly, fan reaction ranged from stunned to utterly floored (UFC literally called the win “unthinkable”) on social media when Pereira pulled off the upset:

Despite what has to be a simmering frustration (or at least annoyance) with being unable to beat his rival, Adesanya seemed to be in good spirits based on his post-fight comments and tweets.

Adesanya took a moment to reminisce about how “crazy” it was that his latest loss echoed his last loss to Pereira:

WARNING: The following video clip contains language that some readers may find offensive

Pereira, now the UFC middleweight champion after beating Adesanya, will likely face Adesanya in a rematch for his first title defense, though nothing is officially set yet. Adesanya would likely want a fourth shot at finally beating Pereira.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.