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‘It was a stumble’, video shows Israel Adesanya’s reaction to Alex Pereira TKO loss

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UFC 281: Adesanya v Pereira
Alex Pereira imposes his will on Israel Adesanya before TKO’ing him to win the UFC middleweight championship at UFC 281.
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Israel Adesanya has given a fresh take on his stoppage defeat to Alex Pereira after reviewing his UFC 281 performance in a new video uploaded to his YouTube channel.

The now-defeated middleweight champion admits he stumbled against Pereira in the fifth round but feels he could have continued and potentially won the fight had referee Marc Goddard not intervened and stopped the action.

Adesanya’s head coach Eugene Bareman was happy with the stoppage, telling Combat TV he ‘saw some signs that he [Adesanya] was in trouble’. But, judging from the reaction video below, Adesanya disagrees.

“And shift. Shift. It was here. That right hand. My legs started to give out here,” Adesanya said (h/t Low Kick MMA). “I was still fine. Yeah. I’m trying to move my head. I’m like what the f*ck, that was way too soon … It was a stumble.”

“Be able to accept reality. Accept what’s happening,” he added. “I have a big imagination and sometimes I live in a fantasy, but I make my fantasies a reality. But then, when reality happens, it’s like, ‘Hm okay, I accept it, I’ve been here before.’ I’ve had worse in life happen to me.”

Adesanya is expected to rematch Pereira next year in a bid to reclaim the UFC middleweight title.