ISRAEL ADESANYA’s reign as UFC Middleweight Champion came to a brutal end at Madison Square Garden.
The Last Stylebender was eliminated in the fifth round of a UFC 281 thriller at the world’s most iconic arena.
The Nigerian-born New Zealander was up three rounds to one in the closing minutes of the fifth and final stanza.
But a hell of a left hook from Pereira rocked the former champion and sent him into survival mode.
Adesanya tried to fend off the ensuing storm with head movements.
But he ate several unanswered punches that prompted referee Marc Goddard to abandon the contest.
An enthusiastic Pereira said: “I feel so blessed. I worked so hard for this.
“Sorry everyone that I had to post something, I had to do some trash talk this time.
“But I had to get inside his head to get that fight.”
He added: “It was very tough, but just like Glover said, I had a fight every day in the gym.
“For everyone who said I couldn’t do five rounds, look at what I just did. I’m ready for the next one.”
PLAY OUR DREAM TEAM WORLD CUP FANTASY FOOTBALL GAME TO WIN A SHARE OF £50,000
UFC 281 Results
Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira – Pereira def. Adesanya via TKO (punches) – Round 5, 2:01
Carla Esparza vs. Zhang Weili – Zhang defeated. Esparza via submission (rear naked choke) – Round 2, 1:05
Dustin Poirier vs. Michael Chandler – Poirier defeated. Chandler via submission (rear naked choke) – Round 3, 2:00
Frankie Edgar vs. Chris Gutierrez – Gutierrez defeated. Edgar via KO (knee) – Round 1, 2:01
Dan Hooker vs. Claudio Puelles – Hooker defeated. Puelles via TKO (body kick) – Round 2, 4:06
Brad Riddell vs. Renato Moicano – Moicano defeated. Riddell via submission (rear naked choke) – Round 1, 3:20
Dominick Reyes vs. Ryan Spann – Spann def. Reyes via KO (punches) – Round 1, 1:20
Molly McCann vs. Erin Blanchfield – Blanchfield defeated. McCann via submission (Kimura) – Round 1, 3:37
Andre Petroski vs. Wellington Turman – Petroski def. Turman by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Matt Frevola vs. Ottman Azaitar – Frevola defeated. Azaitar via KO (Punch) – Round 1, 2:30
Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Silvana Gomez Juarez – 29-28, 29-28, 29-28
Michael Trizano vs. Choi Seung-woo – Trizano defeated. Choi via KO (punches) – Round 1, 4:59
Julio Arce vs. Montel Jackson – Jackson defeated. Arce by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Carlos Ulberg vs. Nicolae Negumereanu – Ulberg defeated. Negumereanu via TKO – Round 1, 3:44
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6665020/watch-moment-israel-adesanya-gets-brutally-knocked-out-by-alex-pereira-at-ufc-281-to-lose-middleweight-title/ Watch the moment Israel Adesanya is brutally KO’d by Alex Pereira at UFC 281 to lose the Middleweight Title