For anyone who doesn’t know, Israel Adesanya is a mixed martial arts fighter, kickboxer, and boxer, so before he signed a contract with UFC in 2017 he had already faced Alex Pereira twice in kickboxing fights.
He lost both time, not to take anything away from him, he’s a great fighter.
Alex Pereira followed a similar path, fighting as a kickboxer to begin with before transitioning to MMA, and also signed with the UFC, albeit in 2021.
When the two met for a third time, Drake fancied Israel Adesanya to get the better of Pereira, presumably since the New Zealand born fighter was so much more experienced in MMA and having been with the UFC so much longer.
He was wrong.
Pereira made it 3 for 3 by knocking Adesanya out in the 5th round, and knocking $2 million out of Drake’s bank account at the same time.
He only stood to win $2.9 million if the fight had gone his way, so it wasn’t exactly a savvy wager in the first place.
How the Bet was Lost
Like he often does, Drake publicised his eye watering bet to his many followers by posting a screenshot of the betslip on his socials.
His reputation of being cursed already well established by now, he received many sarcastic comments about punters either cashing out or betting the other way now he had jinxed it.
Despite being the favourite and having held the middleweight belt for 3 years at the time, Adesanya was under fire from fans for putting on boring fights and being a ‘tap and run’ champion.
He did better in this fight, doing better than Pereira on scoring and even looked like knocking him out early at the end of the first round, but Pereira recovered and used his power to hurt Adesanya as well.
There was a lot of ground and pounding going on in the third round with Pereira coming off far worse, again being saved by the end of the round, with both men looking tired in the fourth and Pereira landing a nice cross as the horn sounded.
Drake probably should have cashed out here, because it was in the last round that Pereira’s relentless power won him the day.
A failed kick from Adesanya caused him to fall backwards and take some punishment as he backwards rolled and stood up, leaving him a little unsteady, and just moments later Pereira was reigning down blows on the soon to be ex-champion who just could not get out of the way.
The referee stepped in and ended the fight, ended Adesanya’s reign as champion, and ended Drake’s bet.