Israel Adesanya is set for a spell on the sidelines after losing his UFC middleweight championship to Alex Pereira inside Madison Square Garden late on Saturday night.
Adesanya, who was unbeaten at 185-pounds heading into the contest, was defeated by fifth-round TKO by rival Pereira who went into the contest owning two prior wins against Adesanya from their kickboxing days. Adesanya blamed damage sustained in the fight to his peroneal nerve (as a result of a Pereira low kick) for restricting his movement at certain parts of the bout — something which likely contributed to the late finish scored by Pereira, which came with Adesanya ahead on the scorecards.
And following the release of the medical suspension from the UFC 281 event by the New York State Athletic Commission, Adesanya must undertake a mandatory 60 day rest period and serve an ‘indefinite’ suspension. Adesanya will likely be cleared to compete, though, by a relevant medical professional in the coming weeks.
However, speaking on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour the former champion said that he is anticipating some down-time after competing on three occasions in 2022.
“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,” he said.
Pereira, meanwhile, must also serve an indefinite suspension but his rest period has been placed at just 30 days.
Elsewhere, both Frankie Edgar and Dominick Reyes, who suffered vicious knockouts on the card in New York, will serve 90 day suspension — though in Edgar’s case this is moot given that he has announced his retirement from mixed martial arts at the age of 41.