Israel Adesanya-Alex Pereira Official For UFC 281

Madison Square Garden will host UFC 281 and two title fights.

The event takes place Saturday, November 12 from New York City.

In the headline bout, Israel Adesanya defends his middleweight title against Alex Pereira. Also, Carla Esparza puts her strawweight gold on the line vs. former champion Zhang Weili.

Reigning middleweight king Adesanya (23-1, fighting out of Auckland, New Zealand) plans to deliver another statement performance in his second MSG appearance. Arguably the most popular champion in the UFC today, he has established himself as one of the most skilled strikers to ever compete in MMA with wins over former champions Robert Whittaker (twice) and Anderson Silva, as well as Derek Brunson, Marvin Vettori and Paulo Costa.

Pereira (6-1, fighting out of Danbury, Conn. by way of Sao Paulo, Brazil) aims to make the most of his first UFC title opportunity. A former Glory kickboxing middleweight and light heavyweight champion, he has burst onto the MMA scene with impressive finishes over Sean Strickland and Andreas Michailidis.

Two-time UFC strawweight champion Esparza (20-6, fighting out of Irvine, Calif.) looks to start her new campaign at the top with a dominant victory. Currently on a six-fight win streak, Esparza fought her way back to the title with notable wins over Yan Xiaonan, Marina Rodriguez and Michelle Waterson.

Former title holder Zhang (22-3, fighting out of Beijing, China) seeks to regain her lost crown and cement herself as one of the best fighters in MMA. The first and only Chinese champion in UFC history, she has entertained fans with victories over Joanna Jedrzejczyk (twice), Jessica Andrade and Jessica Aguilar.

Additional bouts on the card include

* Former light heavyweight title challenger and No. 7 ranked contender Dominick Reyes (12-3, fighting out of Victorville, Calif.) returns to action against No. 12 ranked Ryan Spann (22-7, fighting out of Beaumont, Texas)

* No. 12 ranked women’s flyweight Erin Blachfield (9-1, fighting out of Elmwood Park, NJ) looks to halt the momentum of streaking No. 15 ranked Molly McCann (13-4, fighting out of Liverpool, England)

* Fan favorite Karolina Kowalkiewicz (14-7, fighting out of Lodz, Poland) meets Silvana Gomez Juarez (7-4, fighting out of Tucuman, Argentina) in a women’s strawweight bout

* An exciting lightweight bout sees Matt Frevola (9-3-1, fighting out of Long Island, N.Y.) lock horns with Ottman Azaitar (13-0, fighting out of Rabat, Morocco)

* The Ultimate Fighter season 27 winner Michael Trizano (10-3, fighting out of Ramsey, N.J.) battles SeungWoo Choi (10-5, fighting out of Seoul, South Korea) at featherweight

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