Following a shocking fifth-round knockout victory over Israel Adesanya at UFC 281 to claim the middleweight championship, Alex Pereira was given quite the welcome back to his adopted home in Danbury, Connecticut.
Teixeira reintroduced Pereira to the squad, this time as the new middleweight champion with the UFC championship on his shoulder, to a raucous reception that had Pereira grinning.
Pereira startled the world in just his fourth UFC bout when, halfway through the final round, he landed a vicious series of blows that left Adesanya wounded many times.
Adesanya gave no resistance to Pereira’s attacks and simply kept taking shots, which required referee Marc Goddard to intervene and break up the fight before more punishment was administered.
The victory was celebrated by Pereira because it was actually his third triumph over Adesanya. The two had previously faced off in GLORY kickboxing, with the Brazilian taking the first match by decision and the second by brutal knockout.
Even though he trailed on the scorecards going into the fifth round, Pereira still managed to prevail, and now he can celebrate after becoming the 12th middleweight champion in UFC history and the third Brazilian to do so after Anderson Silva and Murilo Bustamante.