Revenge is a dish best served cold

UFC 287 has concluded with an overall excellent card featuring some impressive finishes. Kelvin Gastelum and Chris Curtis received the fight of the night award for their three-round war, while Adesanya and Rob Font earned performance bonuses for their knockouts. Kevin Holland also got a knockout win to put himself back in the win column. In this article, I will provide my thoughts on the event.

The main event of the prelims featured Chris Curtis and Kelvin Gastelum, which was a must-watch fight. As I mentioned in my previous article, Gastelum could have been fighting for his job, but he managed to get the win via decision in a true war with both men showing unbelievable toughness. I felt happy for Kelvin with that win, as he truly deserves it a man that always brings it. The main card opener, 18-year-old Rosas Jr. had a tough night, as he appeared to gas out in the latter stages, and Christian Rodriguez won via unanimous decision. Rodriguez remained composed throughout, and it was a massive learning curve for the young Rosas Jr.

Moving on to the always exciting Kevin Holland, he got the job done with a vicious third-round KO over Santiago Ponzinibbio in a closely contested bout. Both fighters landed massive shots throughout the fight, but Kevin caught Santiago on the chin leading to a face plant and ultimately the stoppage. Rob Font and Adrian Yanez was initially my pick for fight of the night, but after watching the Chris Curtis vs Kelvin Gastelum fight, I knew my odds weren’t looking great. Nonetheless, these two fighters put on an action-packed three-minute show with both men landing massive shots. Rob Font ended the fight with a significant punch that showed he’s still a player and force to be reckoned with in the bantamweight division.

The Gilbert Burns vs Masvidal fight was a little underwhelming, and it seemed like father time caught up with Gamebred as he announced his retirement in his hometown of Miami. What a career spanning 20 years as a pro. Jorge is now a multi-millionaire from the streets of Miami that should be set for life, thanks for the memories and happy retirement to a true legend of the sport. Gilbert ‘Durinho’ Burns remained composed and done what he needed to do in there, getting the better of Masvidal in the grappling and striking exchanges leading to a unanimous decision victory. Personally, I think he deserves a rematch with Khamzat, Kamaru Usman, or a title shot.

Lastly, the middleweight title fight that this fight card was built around between Alex ‘Poatan’ Pereira and Israel ‘The Last Stylebender’ Adesanya, which was undoubtedly the biggest fight of Izzy’s storied combat sports career. It was a massive rivalry spanning across two forms of combat, three different countries, and seven whole years. Each was the antagonist on each other’s journey to greatness. Adesanya answered the call with his back up against the wall and cemented his legacy. I’ve never seen anything quite like it, with a close first round that I gave to Adesanya, followed by a second round contested at a higher pace, with both men landing big shots. Just before the finishing sequence, Pereira landed a significant leg kick leading to Izzy leaning back on the cage and taking some heavy shots. Seemingly out of nowhere, Izzy landed two vicious shots that rendered Alex Pereira unconscious. One follow-up hammer fist closed the show, leaving me in awe of the mental strength and fortitude shown by Adesanya. It was one of the coldest post-fight celebrations and one of the most impressive moments I’ve ever witnessed as a fan of this sport as the hunted became the hunter.

I don’t believe a third fight is needed. Pereira was fast-tracked to a title shot because Adesanya had cleared out the division, and in my opinion, lucky to get the shot in the first place. I see Alex Pereira competing at light heavyweight in the near future as he really struggles to make the middleweight limit. I still see a real future for him within the UFC, and he is not an easy night’s work for anyone. Just want to say in closing that we should enjoy fighters like ‘The Last Stylebender’ while they are still active because they don’t come around very often. He didn’t have to take that first MMA fight or the rematch with Pereira, but he has never turned down a fight and probably never will, a true champion. Give him his respect. UFC 287 is an 8.5/10 from me. Great card all around and well worth being awake at 6 am for in the UK


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