Michael Bisping sees arguments for and against the stoppage in Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira at UFC 281 this past Saturday.
Heading into the fifth and final round of the fight, the ‘Last Stylebender’ was ahead on the judges’ scorecards. However, the judges were unneeded as ‘Po Atan’ moved forward and unloaded on the former UFC middleweight champion for a standing TKO win.
To some, referee Marc Goddard was justified in stepping in and stopping the fight. To others, Goddard should have given Adesanya more time to recover and get himself out of danger. For Bisping, both of those arguments have merit.
“To be honest, I don’t think it was stopped early,” said Bisping on his official YouTube channel. “However, I think there is a discussion to have. You know, if I was Israel, I’d be pretty annoyed. I love Marc Goddard, he’s one of the best in the business. I’m not saying that. I’m talking about from a fighter’s perspective, if I want to have my belt taken off me, I want to be choked unconscious and left on the floor in Madison Square Garden. That’s exactly what GSP did to me.
“I think at that level of the game, you maybe let it go a little bit longer, but fighter’s safety is absolutely paramount,” continued Bisping. “Izzy was looking at the floor, but he was on the feet and he was kind of moving the head. So that is somewhat defensive, but still. Nonetheless, it certainly wasn’t a bad stoppage. There’s just a conversation there to be had.”
Though he is 0-3 against Pereira — two of those losses happened in kickboxing — Adesanya hopes to get a rematch with his former foe when he returns to the Octagon. And Bisping agrees that he is deserving of one, especially considering what the City Kickboxing product has done in his time as a UFC champion.
“Me, personally, I think Izzy deserves a rematch,” said Bisping. “I think he’s been such a great champion. He’s been entertaining. He’s been charismatic. He’s been a workhorse for the UFC. They said it on the commentary there, ever since Israel won the belt, he has competed in 20 percent of the UFC’s title fights. I mean, that is phenomenal. What a schedule. What a workload.”
Adesanya has stated that he intends to spend the rest of the year with his friends and family and rest up after such a busy schedule.
Prior to the loss to Pereira, Adesanya was on a three-fight win streak that included successful defenses against Marvin Vettori, Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier.