• Tarrian Rodgers

Huge upsets in UFC 281

UFC 281 live from Madison Square Garden was a fight card for the ages filled with nonstop action from start to finish. The main event featured two longtime rivals in former middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and new champion Alex Pereria. Coming into Saturday’s fight Pereria is a name that has haunted Adesanya for years. As the Brazilian was the only person to knock him out. Pereria will continue to haunt Adesanya as he was able to do it again.

Pereira scored a come-from-behind victory against Adesanya to become the new UFC middleweight champion. The fight was very similar to their two kickboxing fights, Adesanya was winning the contest until something catastrophic happened. Adesanya nearly added to UFC 281's seven first-round stoppages with a one-two that had Pereira in all sorts of trouble. Adesanya's devastating shot came in the final second of Round 1, but he did not have the time necessary to capitalize. Adesanya scored the first takedown of his 14-fight UFC career in Round 3 and decisively controlled Pereira for the remainder of the round. Adesanya fatigued Pereira with pressure, ground-and-pound at the end of Round 3. Pereira has never fought in five rounds before, and his corner screamed at him that he needed to finish. Pereira answered the call, blitzed Adesanya and

rocked him with heavy shots against the fence. Adesanya bobbed and weaved but ate uppercuts and other big shots until the referee intervened. The middleweight title wasn’t the only title to change hands as Zhang Welli claimed the women’s strawweight belt for the second time in her career. Zhang was able to perfectly execute a rare naked choke on former champion Carla Esparza to reclaim her belt. UFC’s first Chinese born champion stalked Esparza around the Octagon, and although she didn't land too many shots early, the power difference was obvious. The finish is Zhang's eighth career win by submission and only the second time Esparza has been submitted in her 12-year career. Among the other fights were two with exciting storylines attached Dustin Poirer and Michael Chandler was a predicted fight of the year candidate and the fight certainly didn't disappoint. The fight was a bloodbath. Both men threw hard shots with reckless intent. The first round was nearly even. The second round Chandler dominated on the ground. Poirer claimed that Chandler illegally fish hooked him and the referee didn’t call it. Poirier stopped Chandler in Round 3 with a rear-naked choke. The other fight many fans looked forward to was the last fight of UFC legend Frankie Edgar. Edgar was knocked out with a knee by Chris Rodriquez. UFC 281 from the mecca Madison Square Garden lived up to the billing as it saw some action packed and very stunning finishes.

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