ALEX PEREIRA secured the UFC Middleweight Title with a vicious KO of Sean Strickland.
The former Glory doubles champion faced the American in the main card of a Stacked UFC 276 in Las Vegas.
Controversial pressure fighter Strickland was the bookies favourite, posting his sixth straight win and catapulting himself into the title mix.
But a wicked left hook from Pereira ended the Syndicate MMA star’s hopes of facing Adesanya.
An enthusiastic Pereira said in his post-fight interview, “A lot of people talk about my two wins over Adesanya and say it was just in kickboxing.
“Today I just beat No. 4 in the rankings, so I know I deserve the fight.”
Pereira opened with a series of low kicks followed by body shots.
Strickland attempted to pick up the pace but found himself on the receiving end of some stiff thrusts.
Pereira returned to the leg kick well while Strickland continued to trudge forward, seemingly disregarding the dynamite in his opponent’s hands.
But he soon found himself on the canvas after an ungodly powerful left hook caught his jaw.
And Pereira turned off his lights with two subsequent right hands that cemented his status as a player in the 185-pound division.
Adesanya has had his eye on his former kickboxing opponent since his debut last year.
But the Nigerian-born New Zealander doesn’t think he should be in for a title shot after three fights, telling SunSport: “I don’t think so.
“Someone like Jiri [Prochazka]Jiri has fought MMA all over the world and fought extensively before breaking into the UFC.
“So he has an extensive background in MMA. Alex has him in kickboxing so it’s a whole different game.
“But if Jiri can fight for a title after two fights in the UFC, let Alex fight for a title too if he makes it.
“We’ll see how he wins first.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5691420/ufc-276-results-alex-pereira-sean-strickland-ko/ UFC 276: Alex Pereira calls out Israel Adesanya after KOing Sean Strickland with a brutal hook