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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Farah Hannoun

Eugene Bareman OK with UFC 281 stoppage, says prolonging fight wouldn’t have been good for Israel Adesanya’s health

Eugene Bareman thinks the stoppage was fair in Israel Adesanya’s TKO loss to Alex Pereira at UFC 281.

Although Adesanya (23-2 MMA, 12-2 UFC) thought referee Marc Goddard stepped in too early to stop the fight in Round 5, City Kickboxing head coach Bareman says it could have only gotten worse for his star student.

Pereira (7-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) had Adesanya badly hurt against the ropes, which led Goddard to wave the fight off while Adesanya still was standing. “The Stylebender” immediately protested the stoppage and thought it was too early – but Bareman thinks it was fair.

“I can’t sit here and truthfully say that that was an early stoppage,” Bareman said in an interview with Combat TV. “I’m happy with the stoppage, personally. I thought Israel was in trouble. Of all my experience that I’ve had in this sport, I saw some signs that he was in trouble.

“I felt that prolonging the fight longer than when Marc Goddard stopped it would’ve ended up not good for Israel’s health. So I’m happy with the referee’s decision. … At the end of the day, we live to fight another day. You never know what could’ve happened if that fight had been allowed to progress.”

Bareman expects Adesanya to get a quick opportunity to reclaim the middleweight title. Up 3-1 on the judges’ scorecards heading into Round 5, Bareman says Adesanya could have just coasted.

“We took some of the positive things out of the fight, and that is that we, for the most part, dominated the fight,” Bareman said. “At that stage, it was 3-1. We could have just about ran around backwards for the last round and we would have come home with the result. We took the positives out of it and we just focused on those and moved on.”

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