Sean O'Malley believes Israel Adesanya's stoppage at UFC 281 could have potentially saved him 2 years of his MMA career

'Sugar' Sean O'Malley (Left), Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira at UFC 281 (Right)

'Sugar' Sean O'Malley has weighed in on Israel Adesanya's fifth-round TKO loss in his UFC middleweight title matchup against Alex Pereira at UFC 281.

O'Malley has suggested that while some argued that the fight was stopped early and Adesanya should've been allowed to continue, he was happy that the referee saved 'Izzy' from further damage.

On the Timbo Sugar Show, Sean O'Malley and his coach Tim Welch indicated that referee Marc Goddard made the right call by waving off the fight while Alex Pereira was teeing off on a stunned Israel Adesanya.

'Sugar' believes Adesanya could've lost a couple of years of his MMA career if he'd taken additional damage against Pereira. Referencing Frankie Edgar's vicious KO loss at UFC 281, O'Malley stated:

"I liked the stoppage just because I like 'Izzy' so much. If you don't like 'Izzy,' you're like, 'Early stoppage!' Because, dude, that was trending in a bad way. I would have rather seen it be an early stoppage than see 'Izzy' get KO'd and take two years off his career potentially. Like, a fat, like a clean, like that Frankie [Edgar] KO would've been bad for 'Izzy.'"

Additionally, Tim Welch highlighted that if a referee lets a fight continue after a fighter is already rocked on their feet and likely concussed, the said fighter would probably get hit with another strike and concussed again.

He added that the fighter would resultantly get knocked down, hurt their head on the mat, and get concussed yet again. Moreover, Sean O'Malley noted that a follow-up hammer fist could add to the damage.

Watch O'Malley discuss the topic at 9:30 in the video below:


Israel Adesanya is willing to fight Alex Pereira till he beats him

A few years ago, Israel Adesanya lost a pair of closely-contested kickboxing bouts against Alex Pereira. Pereira beat 'Izzy' by unanimous decision in 2016 and via third-round KO in 2017. Adesanya lost his UFC middleweight belt to 'Poatan' via fifth-round KO in their MMA bout at UFC 281 on November 12th, 2022.

Israel Adesanya subsequently appeared on the Flagrant podcast and asserted that he'll keep fighting Alex Pereira until he defeats him. The 33-year-old 'Izzy' warned that he'd clash with the 35-year-old Pereira again and beat the Brazilian fighter someday. The Nigerian-born New Zealander said:

"I'll be 60, I'll come to your favela, I'll knock on your f***king door [with] my walking stick and be like, 'Yo, you and me right now.' Like, we need to go because that's just me. I don't give a f***. Even if it's just one. I'll beat you. I know I can beat him."

Watch Adesanya address the topic at 18:52 in the video below:


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Edited by Micah Curtis
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