Alex Pereira shook up the middleweight division on Saturday when he knocked out long-reigning champion Israel Adesanya. ‘Poatan’ seemed to many to be losing going into the fifth round of the fight, but the MMA Gods had other plans.
The 35-year-old would hurt Adesanya with his infamous left hook, leaving the then-champion on wobbly legs. Only a couple of shots from Pereira would be needed for the referee to wave the fight off, declaring Pereira as the new middleweight champion.
In a video posted to Twitter, we see Robert Whittaker’s live reaction to watching the last-minute finish.
Whittaker’s only verbal reaction was the word ‘wow’, but a clear look of shock could be seen on his face.
Whittaker is currently preparing for the hard-hitting, tough Paulo Costa at UFC 284 in Perth, Australia. Prior to this, ‘The Reaper took on former title challenger Marvin Vettori, dominating and winning a comfortable three-round decision as part of UFC Fight Night, Paris.
A win for Pereira is a good thing in terms of Whittaker’s title dreams as the 31-year-old had previously lost to Adesanya twice. Now with a new champion, Whittaker has a clean slate in terms of title shots, and should Pereira win in his expected rematch with Adesanya, it could be Whittaker next.
Costa will present a fears test for Whittaker though, the Brazilian always brings it whatever fright he may be in and is coming off a win over former title holder, Luke Rockhold.
the pair will meet on the 11th of February at the RAC Arena.