Israel Adesanya reclaimed his UFC middleweight title with a second-round knockout at UFC 287, stealing the limelight from Gilbert Burns’ victory over Jorge Masvidal and underscoring a sensational night. The long-awaited win over Alex Pereira, the nemesis who defeated him three times previously, was the highlight of the night.
The unique and intense rivalry between Adesanya and Pereira is among the most captivating in combat sports, driven by vehement emotion and an unmatched level of drama that earns their trilogy a well-deserved next fight.
Bellator’s upcoming 300th event – with Masvidal having headlined Bellator 1 – evidences the rarity of Masvidal’s success: a long-time fighter who achieved game-changing momentum late in his career, captivating audiences and accomplishing life-changing wealth.
Kevin Gastelum’s impressive comeback victory over Chris Curtis was also a moment of raw emotion, showing the best of MMA.
Finally, one of the most promising prospects of the night was Joe Pyfer, who defeated the division’s all-time submissions leader Gerald Meerschaert, launching his middleweight career and staking his claim as a contender.