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Adesanya bags Knockout of the Year award

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Israel Adesanya lands a combination of punches to the face of Kevin Gastelum to win the interim UFC middleweight belt

Former UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has won his first MMA Junkie Knockout of the Year Award for his second-round knockout of Alex Pereira in April 2023.

Adesanya has already won many honors in mixed martial arts, including Newcomer of the Year, Fight of the Year, and Male Fighter of the Year, but despite his excellent knockout record in the UFC with over 16 KOs, he has never won the Knockout of the Year award until now.

The April bout versus Pereira was their second in the UFC and fourth in combat sports, with Pereira leading 3-0 before Adesanya won to become a two-time middleweight champion and receive the Performance of the Night award at UFC 287.

He landed two key right hands in the knockout, which came after an intense leg kick fight in the first round and a more aggressive exchange in the second.

The precision and strength of his shots terminated the bout, securing his place as the ‘Knockout of the Year,’ with the triumph ascribed to both skill and story.

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Adesanya‘s second-round knockout not only recaptured the UFC middleweight title, but it was also his first victory against Pereira in their four-fight rivalry spanning combat sports.

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