Adesanya, 33, was attempting to make the sixth defence of his middleweight title at Madison Square Garden in New York against old kickboxing rival Pereira, but he lost the belt after being knocked out in the fifth round. 'The Last Stylebender' was winning most of the fight and just needed to hear the final bell to retain his belt, but Pereira hurt him with a flurry of punches that saw referee Marc Goddard stop the fight with three minutes left.
The New York State Athletic Commission has now issued its medical suspensions as 19 fighters from the event have been suspended indefinitely, one of which is former champion Adesanya who has been given a mandatory rest period of 60 days. Pereira also received an indefinite suspension from the commission, with his rest period being only 30 days.
Adesanya explained why he wants to take some time away from the cage following his knockout loss, as he said on The MMA Hour :
“It was my third fight in 10 months, as a champion, putting it on the line every single time. I’m going to really enjoy myself and just chill. I’ll travel maybe, and help my teammates as well. Help them get ready for their respective fights, but I deserve this. I earned this."
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