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Edition 11 • November 18th, 2022

Keeping up to date with combat sports news can take up a lot of time, so we’re simplifying the process by bringing the most important stories directly to you. We read the internet all week and then summarize what you need to know in 3-4 minutes.

What we're going to discuss today.
  • Anthony Johnson dies at 38 years old
  • Alex Pereira continues to be the boogeyman of Israel Adesanya
  • Israel Adesanya gets arrested in New York
Anthony Johnson dies at 38 years old

The fight world was struck with tragic news this week as it was revealed that Anthony “Rumble” Johnson died this past Sunday from organ failure due to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. It was known that Johnson was battling an illness for the past year, but the severity of the illness wasn’t known to the public. Johnson was scheduled to compete against Vadim Nemkov for the Bellator Light Heavyweight Championship in October of 2021 but withdrew from the contest due to the illness, which was unspecified at the time.

Johnson will be remembered as one of the greatest knockout artists in MMA history with 17 of his 23 professional wins coming by knockout. Johnson started his career as a Welterweight and fought all the way up to the Heavyweight division. He was cut from the UFC in January 2012 after failing to make the Middleweight limit against Vitor Belfort. After being cut, Johnson began competing in regional events as a Light Heavyweight. It was in this division that he found his groove. He won 6 consecutive fights and returned to the UFC as a Light Heavyweight. The only fighter Johnson lost to after this point was Daniel Cormier. His final win in the UFC came against Glover Texeira who he finished by knockout in 13 seconds.

After losing his rematch against Daniel Cormier in April of 2017, an emotional Anthony Johnson announced his retirement from the sport. Johnson got the itch to fight again when he watched Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier compete in a rematch in August 2019. It looked like Johnson was going to come back to the UFC, but he ultimately signed with Bellator where he would compete one final time.

Johnson was respected by his peers and you can see that from the outpouring of love following his death. We send our condolences to the family of Anthony “Rumble” Johnson.

Alex Pereira continues to be the boogeyman of Israel Adesanya

Alex Pereira ended Israel Adesanya’s kickboxing career in 2017 and ended his historic UFC title reign this past weekend. This marked the second fastest rise to a UFC Championship in the modern era, as Pereira captured the title in his 4th fight in the UFC. The modern record is held by Brock Lesnar who became Champion in his 3rd UFC fight.

Their fight this past weekend was similar to their 2nd fight in 2017. Adesanya rocked Pereira early then Pereira recovered and finished Adesanya in the final round. Pereira was stone-faced after the stoppage and didn’t smile until he was greeted by his corner.

Alex Pereira used to be a footnote in Israel Adesanya’s career and no one really expected him to get here, not even Pereira himself. That changed in 2020 after Pereira watched Adesanya do an interview with Sporting News Australia before his Yoel Romero fight. Adesanya was asked about Pereira, who at the time, had not competed in MMA in 4 years. Adesanya said in the interview “He's gonna be at some pub while I'm world Champion saying I beat that guy while trying to get a d*ck suck from a crack whore”.

Pereira, who’s struggled with alcoholism in the past, had a fire lit under him after watching that interview. He returned to MMA 7 months later with Adesanya as his eventual target. Anytime a long-reigning Champion like Israel Adesanya loses a Championship, fans get upset and focus on the loss instead of the win. What needs to be discussed more is the story of Alex Pereira. With his back against the wall and 5 minutes remaining in the fight, Pereira accomplished the goal that he had set out 2.5 years ago when he watched the interview.

Israel Adesanya gets arrested in New York

Four days after losing his Middleweight title to Alex Pereira, Israel Adesanya was arrested for possession of brass knuckles at JFK Airport prior to flying home to New Zealand. The arrest came at approximately 1:57 p.m. local time. This was a surprise to many, as Adesanya isn’t a fighter that gets in trouble with the law.

His manager Tim Simpson quickly cleared up the situation, stating “Israel was handed a gift by a fan, which he put in his luggage. When flagged at the airport, Israel quickly disposed of the item and cooperated with authorities. He has complied accordingly. With that, the matter was dismissed and he’s on his way home”. New York’s Port Authority Police Department revealed to MMA Junkie on Thursday that Adesanya was given a written notice from a police officer, to appear in court at a future date.

Brass knuckles are illegal in New York. TSA allows brass knuckles to be stored in check-in baggage but not in carry-on bags.

Quick Hits

Jake Paul vs. Anderson Silva did 31,000 television PPV buys according to Dave Meltzer.

The PFL Championship event will cost $49.99

Ilir Latifi is suspended for 3 months for failing to disclose staph infection in his last fight.

Khamzat Chimaev wants to fight Alex Pereira for the Middleweight title at UFC 283 in Brazil.

Dana White compares Michael Chandler to Arturo Gatti.

MSG Magic was the most competitive Tournament in history.

Jorge Masvidal challenges Gilbert Burns to a fight in the UK.

Videos of the Week

Alex Pereira gets a tattoo of the UFC Championship
Alex Pereira gets a tattoo of the UFC Championship
Alex Pereira has a tattoo of the Glory Championship belt on his left arm and now has the UFC Championship on his right arm.

Nate Diaz slaps Dillon Danis' friend
Nate Diaz slaps Dillon Danis' friend
Nate Diaz got into a scuffle in New York when he saw Dillon Danis and his friends.

Glover Teixeira celebrates Alex Pereira's win
Glover Teixeira celebrates Alex Pereira's win
Glover Teixeira is one of Alex Pereira's main training partners. He spoke to the commentary team after Pereira's win at UFC 281.

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You can always check out our other editions of OverUnder here.
OverUnder
All of your weekly MMA updates in one place.
Keeping up to date with combat sports news can take up a lot of time, so we’re simplifying the process by bringing the most important stories directly to you. We read the internet all week and then summarize what you need to know in 3-4 minutes.
Enter your email to sign up for the OverUnder newsletter. The first email newsletter in MMA.
By subscribing, you will receive a weekly MMA newsletter from Verdict MMA. You can unsubscribe at any time.