Saturday 12 November 2022

UFC Adesanya vs Pereira Full Fight HD: UFC 281 Full Show HD


UFC 281: Adesanya vs. Pereira PPV Pay Per View 11/12/22 12th November 2022

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Israel Adesanya, Alex Pereira and the Real Winners and Losers from UFC 281

Sana Ejaz Khan

    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 11: (L-R) Opponents Israel Adesanya of Nigeria and Alex Pereira of Brazil face off during the UFC 281 ceremonial weigh-in at Radio City Music Hall on November 11, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
    Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

    The sport's most successful promotion in the world's most famous arena.

    If nothing else, the power of marketing guaranteed that the UFC's annual visit to Midtown Manhattan would provide for a memorable Saturday night.

    The 28 fighters across the 14-bout card did their part to make it happen too, led by the presence of Israel Adesanya and Carla Esparza making title defenses atop the pay-per-view portion of the UFC 281 extravaganza at Madison Square Garden.

    Adesanya was risking his middleweight strap for the sixth time since winning it three years ago and encountering a familiar foe while doing so in two-time kickboxing opponent and fourth-ranked contender Alex Pereira in the main event.

    Esparza, meanwhile, was appearing for the first time since wresting the strawweight belt from Rose Namajunas in May and becoming one of the few fighters with multiple reigns atop a weight class. She'd previously held the title for three months bridging 2014 and 2015.

    The PPV show was produced by ESPN+, and the B/R combat sports team was in place to take it all in and compile a definitive list of the event's real winners and losers. Scroll through to get our reactions and drop a take or two of your own in the comments section.

Winner: Unexpected Title Change

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    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 12: (L-R) Alex Pereira of Brazil punches Israel Adesanya of Nigeria in the UFC middleweight championship bout during the UFC 281 event at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
    Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

    For the second time in three months, it happened.

    A seemingly unbeatable champion and pound-for-pound kingpin entered the fifth round of a title fight with a clear-cut victory within reach.

    And for the second time in three months, that very same champion couldn't seal the deal.

    First Kamaru Usman at UFC 278. Now Israel Adesanya at UFC 281.

    The Last Stylebender was up three rounds to one and had driven Alex Pereira to the point of exhaustion thanks to precision punching and intermittent groundwork, but he found himself pinned against the fence and battered in the fifth for a shocking KO at 2:01.

    It was the sixth world title change in four UFC events at Madison Square Garden.

    The five-defense champion was rattled with a right hand and hurt badly with a left and was unable to escape the follow-up barrage. He stumbled to his right and was slumped over at the waist and taking uncontested punches when referee Marc Goddard intervened.

    Similarly, Usman was well ahead of challenger Leon Edwards in their welterweight fight in late August before he was KO'd with a single head kick with just 56 seconds left.

    It's Pereira's third victory in three meetings with Adesanya after he'd beaten him twice in kickboxing, including a one-punch KO in 2017.

    "I feel so good. All my life I worked so hard for this," Pereira said.

    “I had to battle. It was a very hard fight. But just like [training partner] Glover Teixeira said, I was going for a five-fight every day in the gym. I can go five rounds again. I'm ready for the next."

Winner: Reclaiming a Throne

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    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 12:  Weili Zhang celebrates after defeating Carla Esparza to win their Women Strawweight fight UFC 281 at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    It was surprising to some that Carla Esparza, a reigning strawweight champion, was both a significant betting underdog and audibly not the crowd favorite in New York.

    But it took barely more than six minutes for it to all make sense.

    Former belt-holder Zhang Weili, who's from China, joined the American as a two-time champion at 115 pounds, surviving through a back-and-forth first round to score a quick takedown in the second and lock in the decisive rear-naked choke that ended matters and signaled her coronation at 1:05.

    “I came back. Now it feels like a dream,” said Weili, who'd lost her belt in April 2021 to Rose Namajunas, the fighter Esparza had beaten earlier this year to begin her second reign. "Every day since I lost [to Namajunas], I dreamed this belt would come back. Every single moment."

    Weili lost a split decision to Namajunas in a rematch last November and had fought and won once since. She picked up social media fanfare recently thanks to training videos in which she'd worked out with UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou and was able to pick him up off the ground.

    "I feel all the support from you guys," she said. "I'm the Weili that belongs to all the world."

    Esparza initially held the strawweight belt in 2014 and 2015 and was 8-3 in non-title fights before regaining the belt. She was able to chase submissions periodically against Weili but never stayed in control during the frequent scrambles.

    "I expected her to be good everywhere," Esparza said. "At this level fighting former champs, you can only expect the best."

Winner: Fan-Friendly Violence

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    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 12: (R-L) Michael Chandler punches Dustin Poirier in a lightweight bout during the UFC 281 event at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
    Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

    The polls have closed. The voting is complete.

    The best fight of 2022 has occurred. And Dustin Poirier won it.

    The fan favorite known as the "Diamond" was on the verge of a KO loss in the first round and was forced to elude a series of submissions in the second but rallied in the third for a dramatic choke-out of a bloodied, exhausted Michael Chandler in the culmination of a rivalry that had turned decidedly bitter.

    The end came at 2:00 after Poirier rolled through Chandler's takedown slam to take his foe's back.

    It was Chandler's third loss in five fights since arriving to the UFC in early 2021. But he's consistently produced action-packed instant classics, and the scrap with Poirier was no different thanks to a tumultuous first round in which he had Poirier badly hurt with a series of hard right hands before the Louisiana native got to his feet and had Chandler nearly out on his feet as the horn sounded.

    Chandler's loss to Justin Gaethje at UFC 268 was widely considered 2021's best fight, and he'd already been the Fight of the Year front-runner for 2022 after KO'ing Tony Ferguson with a front kick in May.

    "I couldn't see," Poirier said. "Good thing he throws looping shots. If he'd have thrown straight shots, he'd have probably gotten me out of there. He's very explosive."

    Poirier seemingly started the second round on the verge of a KO win, but Chandler immediately went for a takedown, got him to the floor and kept him there for the entire five minutes thanks to positioning.

    He was never able to lock in after several attempts at a rear-naked choke, however, which further drained him entering the third and again left him looking exhausted. Chandler did get Poirier up in the air at the start of the third and slammed him to the mat, but Poirier quickly spun through to a superior position and quickly went for his own rear-naked choke when he got Chandler’s back.

    The fighters and their corners appeared to exchange words in the immediate aftermath, and Poirier angrily told referee Dan Miragliotta that Chandler had used an illegal fish-hook maneuver while he'd been chasing the choke submission in the second.

    Cooler heads ultimately prevailed, though, and they bumped fists and congratulated each other before leaving the cage.

    "He was a little bit more durable than I thought he would be," Poirier said. "I thought if I hurt him, he wouldn't be there."

Loser: Celebrating Retirement

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    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 12:  Chris Gutierrez knocks out Frankie Edgar with a knee to the face during their bantamweight fight at UFC 281 at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    So much for retirement parties.

    Former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar basked in the adoration of the MSG crowd on the way to the Octagon and got smiles from his wife and children at cageside, but the party was quickly cut short by up-and-coming opponent Chris Gutierrez in the night's most devastating knockout.

    The 41-year-old announced during the show's run-up that it would be the last fight of his UFC career. He debuted with the promotion 15 years ago at UFC 67. He'd gone 18-10-1 in 29 fights since then but hadn’t won since 2020 and had dropped two straight by finishes in 2021.

    Gutierrez flitted around the mat as Edgar pursued in the first minute-plus, but the lights went out—literally—when he leapt forward with a left knee that crashed directly into the right side of Edgar's face, drawing an immediate wave-off at 2:01 of the first round.

    "I love this sport," he said. "I didn't want to go out like that, but this sport is a b---h. I've got my family here, and that's all that matters."

    Edgar was 3-0-1 in his first four title fights in 2010 and 2011 before losing his last five title tries at lightweight and featherweight. He'll finish with a career mark of 23-11-1.

    "The vast majority of our heroes go out like that, on their backs," Cormier said. "And it sucks. When they walk away, they generally go out like that, to a younger fighter that has not accomplished the things they have. It's not fair, but that's the game we play."

Winner: Regaining Career Momentum

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    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 12: Dan Hooker of New Zealand reacts after his victory over Claudio Puelles of Peru in a lightweight bout during the UFC 281 event at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
    Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

    Rumors of Dan Hooker's demise were apparently greatly exaggerated.

    The 32-year-old arrived at Saturday's main card mired in a career-worst skid, having lost four of five fights and getting stopped in three of them, including a first-round KO by Arnold Allen in March.

    But just when it looked like streaking 26-year-old phenom Claudio Puelles would drive the final nail into Hooker's competitive coffin, Hooker found himself back in control of his destiny.

    Puelles had won five straight fights and submitted three foes in doing so, and he quickly tried to seize Hooker's left leg with a series of Imanari rolls. But Adesanya's training teammate worked out of the only real finishing attempt midway through Round 1.

    The Peruvian export continued to roll at Hooker's legs but was never successful in locking his foe up again and quickly turned the crowd against him.

    From there, Hooker took over on the feet, piecing Puelles up with punches and kicks from a standing distance and ultimately ending his night with a hard front kick to the belly.

    Puelles went to the floor and didn't get up, ending the fight by TKO at 4:06 of the second round.

    "They didn't believe in us. No one did. No one did," Hooker said. "I'm 6-foot with a vicious hook. When I bite down on this mouthpiece. I make nails look soft."

Winner: Cutting the Perfect Promo

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    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 12: Renato Moicano of Brazil reacts after his submission victory over Brad Riddell of New Zealand in a lightweight bout during the UFC 281 event at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
    Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

    Jon Anik put it simply.

    "That," referring to Renato Moicano's F-bomb-laden chat with Joe Rogan, "was the greatest post-fight interview in UFC history."

    The typically reserved Brazilian took his mic promo skills to another stratosphere after he'd done precisely the same thing in the prelim finale, getting opponent Brad Riddell to the ground and prompting his surrender by rear-naked choke at 3:20 of the first round.

    By the time the New Zealander tapped, the squeeze put on him by Moicano was menacingly forcing blood to ooze from a facial cut.

    "There's a moment when a guy just comes into his own and hits another level," Rogan said. following the submission, Moicano's 10th in 17 pro wins and sixth in the UFC.

    But neither Riddell, Rogan or the rest of us had seen anything yet.

    The 33-year-old snatched the mic from Rogan and launched into full-blown fanboy mode, referring to him as the smartest man in the world and claiming he listens to the online lightning rod's podcast every day.

    And then, it was about the fight.

    "Let's go New York," he said. "Let's make some f--king noise."

    "I'm here to take over," he said. "I've lost to the best, but today, I'm the f--king best. I want the f--king bonus. Moicano wants money. Moicano doesn't give a s--t."

Loser: 3 Strikes at Redemption

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    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 12:  The referee stops the fight after Ryan Spann knocks down Dominick Reyes in the 1st round of their fight during UFC 281 at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Dominick Reyes could have been a world champion.

    In fact, he's not alone in suggesting he should have been a world champion.

    But ever since a February 2020 loss to Jon Jones, he's never recaptured the mojo.

    Now 32, the seventh-ranked light heavyweight saw yet another chance to do so go awry on Saturday night, instead getting knocked stiff by a left hand from No. 12 Ryan Spann and losing via first-round KO after just 80 seconds.

    Reyes was 12-0 before the Jones fight. He's now 12-4 and hasn't won since 2019.

    It was his third straight stoppage loss since the Jones disappointment, which was followed by second-round finishes by Jan Blachowicz later in 2020 and Jiří Procházka in 2021.

    He'd already been rattled by punches from the 6'5" Spann, who'd finished 17 of his 20 wins inside the distance, before the decisive left hand and a follow-up overhand right that clipped the back of his head as he fell. Spann connected with one left-hand ground strike to his defenseless chin just as referee Marc Goddard pulled the winner away.

    Spann is 21-7 as a pro, 7-2 in the UFC and has now won two straight.

    "I trained. I've never trained for a fight before today," he said. "I just came in here to flow and be free. I've been scared to get tired. I wasn't scared to get tired. Damn, I looked good."

Winner: A Cold-Blooded Flyweight

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    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 12: Erin Blanchfield celebrates after her submission victory over Molly McCann of England in a flyweight bout during the UFC 281 event at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
    Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

    Attention, Valentina Shevchenko: There may be a challenger in your midst.

    Nearby New Jersey native Erin Blanchfield was booed by a New York crowd as she entered the cage to meet popular British export Molly McCann, but the crowd's dissatisfaction was by far the only adversity she faced on Saturday night.

    The 23-year-old was ranked 12th among the world's flyweights heading into the match with her 15th-ranked opponent, and she looked ready to leap several spots while dominating the streaking McCann on the ground on the way to a submission win by kimura.

    Dubbed the "Meatball" by adoring crowds in England, McCann was cheered loudly by the MSG fans but quickly found herself on the wrong end of a takedown in the first minute. She was soon locked into a prone crucifix position that allowed Blanchfield to strafe her with punches and elbows.

    The fight wasn't stopped in spite of a 93-7 advantage in strikes, so Blanchfield pursued and ultimately locked in a kimura on McCann's left arm, drawing a surrender at 3:37.

    "That was pure domination by Erin Blanchfield," ESPN analyst Daniel Cormier said. "What a performance."

    It was Blanchfield's 10th win in 11 pro fights and her fourth straight as a UFC flyweight, boosting her to a tie for the third-longest win streak in the division behind Shevchenko's nine and Manon Fiorot's five.

    "It felt really good, and I think that was worth 50K right there," Blanchfield said. "I was definitely surprised [referee Kevin MacDonald] didn't stop it. I thought I could have gotten it stopped a lot earlier."

Loser: Ottman's 1st-Round Empire

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    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 12: (R-L) Matt Frevola knocks out Ottman Azaitar of Morocco in a lightweight bout during the UFC 281 event at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
    Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

    Given Ottman Azaitar's first-round track record, it's not surprising that his early prelim feature on Saturday night was finished in less than five minutes.

    What was a shock, however, was the result.

    The only unbeaten fighter among the 28 on the card tasted defeat for the first time as professional when a counter left hand from opponent Matt Frevola dropped him to the floor and rendered him instantly defenseless to prompt referee Dan Miragliotta's intervention at 2:30.

    "This is unreal," Frevola said. "This feels like a dream right now."

    Azaitar, too, was struggling to grasp reality in his semi-conscious state, asking his corner several times what had happened to end the fight so abruptly. He'd arrived to the cage at 13-0 as a pro and 2-0 in the UFC, with all but three wins having come in Round 1.

    The German-born Moroccan hadn't appeared in the Octagon for more than two years since stopping Khama Worthy in 93 seconds in September 2020.

    Azaitar was memorably fired from the company for violating COVID-19 protocols before a scheduled January 2021 meeting with Frevola on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi but was reinstated within a few months. However, he'd not fought since.

    Frevola, a native of nearby Long Island, arrived to the cage with the trumpet-heavy music made popular last summer by New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Díaz.

    He pressured Azaitar early on but was driven backward by a left hand as his foe began taking the aggressive initiative. Azaitar was stepping forward when Frevola clipped him along the fence with a right hand, then followed with the left that prompted the wave-off.

    Before exiting, Frevola called out streaking British lightweight Paddy Pimblett, who's scheduled to fight Jared Gordon at UFC 282 in December.

    "Paddy's got to go out and win his fight," he said, "because he's the guy I want."

Full Card Results

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    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 12: (R-L) Karolina Kowalkiewicz of Poland punches Silvana Gomez Juarez of Argentina in a strawweight bout during the UFC 281 event at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
    Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

    Main Card

    Alex Pereira def. Israel Adesanya by KO (punches), 2:01, Round 5

    Zhang Weili def. Carla Esparza by submission (rear-naked choke), 1:05, Round 2

    Dustin Poirier def. Michael Chandler by submission (rear-naked choke), 2:00, Round 3

    Chris Gutierrez def. Frankie Edgar by KO (flying knee), 2:01, Round 1

    Dan Hooker def. Claudio Puelles by KO (body kick), 4:06, Round 2


    Renato Moicano def. Brad Riddell by submission (rear-naked choke), 3:20, Round 1

    Ryan Spann def. Dominick Reyes by KO (punch), 1:20, Round 1

    Erin Blanchfield def. Molly McCann by submission (kimura), 3:37, Round 1

    Andre Petroski def. Wellington Turman by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

    Early Prelims

    Matt Frevola def. Ottman Azaitar by KO (punch), 2:30, Round 1

    Karolina Kowalkiewicz def. Silvana Gomez Juarez by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

    Michael Trizano def. Seungwoo Choi by KO (punch), 4:51, Round 1

    Montel Jackson def. Julio Arce by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

    Carlos Ulberg def. Nicolae Negumereanu by KO (punch), 3:44, Round 1


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