Off the back of his stunning fifth round title loss to challenger, Alex Pereira, at UFC 281 over the course of last weekend, now-former undisputed middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya has revealed he was dealing with some “medical stuff” ahead of the Madison Square Garden battle.
Headlining the event in his third Octagon walk of this year, Adesanya met with Sao Paulo striker, Pereira, attempting to secure a sixth successful defense of his undisputed middleweight crown. And avenge a pair of kickboxing defeats to Pereira back in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
Starting well against his Brazilian foe and avoiding the majority of Pereira’s biggest strikes in the first round, Israel Adesanya almost managed to stop the latter in a buzzer-beating effort in the first, stinging and then wobbling Pereira with a combination at the Octagon fence.
Winning rounds three and four on many’s scorecards, in the fifth and final round, off the back of a trip after a miscued leg kick attempt, Adesanya was wobbled at the fence by Pereira who unloaded with a series of strikes, before his patented left hook landed, sending the Nigerian-Kiwi to the canvas – and ultimately, unable to recover as he suffered a third career loss to Pereira and dropped his championship crown.
Israel Adesanya details how he suffered “medical issues” ahead of UFC 281
Revealing pre-existing health issues leading up to his fight, Adesanya insists that he did not want to make excuses for his title loss, however, must put his health first going forward.
“I don’t disclose everything,” Israel Adesanya told assembled media following UFC 281. “I’ve had some stuff, some medical stuff, that I’ve just put on the backburner, even stuff people make fun of me for. I’ve just got to look after myself, because my health comes first. I’ve got some things to fix first, but I’ll be back.” (Transcribed by NZ Herald)