Izrael Adesanya to defend the title of middleweight vs. Alex Pereira in the UFC 281 headliner

The UFC has its main event at Madison Square Garden.

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

Pereira has two kickboxing victories over Adesanya, including one by knockout. ESPN has Adesanya ranked third on the MMA chart. Adesanya is 1st in middleweight and Pereira is 7th. Pereira, the former dual-distribution champion of Glory Kickboxing, defeated Adesanya in kickboxing once by a decision in 2016 and a year later by knockout again.

Adesanya (23-1) is undefeated in his middleweight career. The Nigerian-born New Zealand resident has won three consecutive times since falling in a light heavyweight title fight with Jan Blachowicz in March 2021. Adesanya, 33, holds five successful middleweight title defenses, holding the undisputed title since October 2019.

Pereira (6-1) is knocked out in the first round by a knockout against Sean Strickland at UFC 276 last month, the same hand in which Adesanya successfully defended his title against Jared Cannonier. The Brazilian slugger has had five wins in six professional MMA wins since his return from kickboxing.

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

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