Israel Adesanya to defend the middleweight title against Alex Pereira at UFC 281

The main event is held by the UFC Madison Square Garden.

Israel Adesanya He will defend his UFC middleweight title against his old rival Alex Pereira At the UFC 281 headline on November 12 in New York, Adesanya announced Friday on SportsCenter.

Pereira has two victories over Adesanya in kickboxing, one of them by knockout. ESPN ranked Adesanya at number three on their MMA chart for pound for pound. At middleweight, Adesanya placed first and Pereira No. 7. Pereira, a former Glory Kickboxing champion in the two divisions, beat Adesanya in kickboxing once by decision in 2016 and then again a year later by knockout.

Adesanya (23-1) is unbeaten in his middleweight career. The New Zealand-born Nigerian has won three in a row since falling in a light heavyweight title match Jan Blachovich March 2021. Adesanya, 33, has five successful middleweight title defenses, and has held the undisputed title since October 2019.

Pereira (6-1) eliminated in the first round by knockout Shaun Strickland At UFC 276 last month, the same card that Adesanya successfully defended his title against Jared Cannoner. The Brazilian slugger has racked up five wins in six career MMA wins since coming from kickboxing.

Pereira, 35, is 3-0 in the UFC with a pair of $50,000 Performance of the Night bonuses to his name.

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