Israel Adesanya defeated Alex Pereira; Gilbert Burns sends Jorge Masvidal into retirement

Israel Adesanya of Nigeria reacts after defeating Alex Pereira of Brazil in their UFC middleweight championship match during the UFC 287 event at the Kazeya Center on April 8, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Juffa LLC via Getty Images)

On Saturday, former middleweight champion Israel Adesanya delivered another blow against Alex Pereira in the main event of UFC 287 in Miami. He was finally victorious against his greatest enemy.

In the fight, Adesanya was 0-3 against Pereira, getting knocked out in the last two. The most recent decision took place on Nov. 12 in New York when Perera, trailing three rounds to one on all three scorecards, defeated Adesanya in the fifth round at UFC 281 to win the middleweight title. Perera is 2-0 against Adesanya in kickboxing, winning the second of two bouts by third-round KO.

But after losing his UFC belt to Perera in devastating fashion, Adesanya insisted on a rematch, and got it. Some of his peers thought going straight to another fight with Perera was not the best decision. That school of thought says that Adesanya should have taken two fights to regain his confidence and develop the new strategies needed to defeat Perera.

However, that is not how Israel Adesanya works. He wanted a rematch and wanted it soon. After knocking out Perera in the second round on Saturday, Adesanya’s hustle clearly paid off and he is back as middleweight champion.

In Saturday’s main event, Jorge Masvidal battled Gilbert Burns needing a win to avoid the first four-fight losing streak of his career, but Burns didn’t seem to outwork “Cambred” en route to a unanimous decision victory.

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Rob Font pulled off a brutal first-round knockout of Adrian Yanez. Font hasn’t fought since a loss to Marlon Vera in April 2022 and came into the fight as a +150 underdog.

Kevin Holland returned to the winning column after two straight defeats by defeating Santiago Poncinipio. Holland used his post-fight interview to call out Jorge Masvidal. Holland and Masvidal got into a verbal altercation ahead of Masvidal’s co-main event Burns at the Fighter Hotel in Miami this week.

In the pay-per-view opener, Raul Rosas Jr. suffered a unanimous decision loss to Christian Rodriguez in his first professional MMA fight.

Stay tuned to Yahoo Sports for all the news and results from the entire card.

UFC 287 Live Tracker

UFC 287 main card results, highlights

  • Welterweight: Gilbert Burns def. Jorge Masvidal via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

  • Phantomweight: rap font dep. Adrian Yanez by TKO (punches) at 2:57 of R1:

UFC 287 preliminary results, highlights

  • Middleweight: Kelvin Castalum def. Chris Curtis via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

  • Strawweight: Luana Pinheiro def. Michelle Watterson-Gomez split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

  • Middleweight: Joe Pifer def. Gerald Meershardt TKO (punches) at 3:15 of R1:

  • Heavyweight: Carl Williams (-400) vs. Chase Sherman (+310)

  • Strawweight: Loopy Godinez def. Cynthia Calvillo via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)

UFC 287 preliminary results, highlights

  • Catchweight (160 lbs): Ignacio Bahamandes def. Trey Ogden via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

  • Featherweight: Steve Garcia def. KO of Shaylan Noortenbke (liver shots) at 0:36 of R2:

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