Boxing legend Mike Tyson had a front-row seat at Madison Square Garden last November when Israel Adesanya suffered a fifth-round TKO defeat to Alex Pereira at UFC 281 in New York City.
Adesanya was on track to secure a unanimous decision victory before Pereira landed a left hook that led to a barrage of strikes on Adesanya. This prompted the referee Marc Goddard to stop the contest.
Adesanya’s reign as the middleweight king came to a dramatic conclusion, leaving the Madison Square Garden viewers in awe. However, Mike Tyson’s reaction to the ending of the match was priceless.
Mike Tyson was sitting behind UFC analysts Joe Rogan, Jon Anik, and Daniel Cormier. He sprung out of his chair and raised his hands, very surprised by the outcome.
Adesanya will try to reclaim his title from Pereira in the main event of UFC 287 in Miami early Sunday morning. However, his team won’t be making significant changes to their strategy.
Additionally, Adesanya’s head coach Eugene Bareman compared Pereira to Mike Tyson. Bareman admitted that it’s difficult to fight someone like Pereira, who has the power to knock out his opponents with one shot.
Bareman told interviewer: ” It is one of the hardest things to do in the sport because even though you see many clear paths to victory, they have a special gift. And that special gift is powerful.”
“The ability to take you out with one shot has to be respected and is a superpower that not everybody has. So I understand the magnitude of what we’re trying to do and we’re up for the challenge.”
Pereira has defeated Adesanya twice in kickboxing. Therefore, Adesanya acknowledged that his upcoming match against Pereira might be his last chance to settle the score with his long-time rival. If he loses to Pereira in Miami this weekend, it will be the fourth time that he’s come up short against the Brazilian.
Despite the stakes, Adesanya is ready to give it his all. He said on his YouTube channel: “This is kind of poetic, in a way. This is my last shot, and I’m gonna give it all I got.”