UFC 276: Alex Pereira Sleeps Sean Strickland in First Round

Alex Pereira, UFC 276
Alex Pereira, UFC 276 Ceremonial Weigh-Ins. Credit: Alex Behunin/CagesidePress

Sean Strickland tried to strike with Alex Pereira and paid the price, getting knocked out in the first round of the contest at UFC 276.

Ahead of UFC 276, the placement of Alex Pereira vs. Sean Strickland was all about setting up a rematch between the Brazilian and middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.

After all, Pereira had twice defeated “The Last Stylebender” in their kickboxing days, once via vicious KO. The selling point of a mixed martial arts contest between them was clear. But after the UFC 276 press conference this week, a Pereira win over Strickland, for the promotion at least, felt like the less desirable outcome.

That’s thanks to Sean Strickland stealing the show at the presser. Why yes, he did so by taking the low road, offending a good chunk of fans and non-fans alike in the process. But the UFC has never shied away from promoting bad behavior, knowing full well that as many people buy Pay-Per-Views to see the loathed heel get knocked out as do fans actually interested in the sporting merits of the fight.

Regardless of who won Saturday, anyway, the UFC would have a big fight to promote in the aftermath. But who would it be?

Alex Pereira started the fight with kicks as Strickland stalked his talented opponent down. Pereira continued to pepper leg kicks as Strickland attempted to establish the jab. Pereira connected with a double jab and a right hand as well. Strickland’s jab found a home, but so did a huge left hand from Pereira. The first knocked Strickland down, and the second stopped the fight. Pereira’s rise to the top just got a lot faster.

Alex Pereira def. Sean Strickland by KO (Left Hook) in Round 1 (2:36)