The biggest lights in MMA will shine on Israel Adesanya at UFC 281 Saturday night.
The reigning UFC middleweight champion will square off with top contender Alex Pereira. The event takes place from Madison Square Garden in New York City, airing live on ESPN+ pay-per-view.
For Adesanya, this is not only another chance to add to his incredible resume, but an opportunity to avenge two prior setbacks.
No, Pereira does not own wins over Adesanya inside the MMA cage. Instead, he bested him in kickboxing several years ago.
Adesanya has since become the best 185-pound fighter in the world. Back in 2019, he claimed the interim title with a decision over Kelvin Gastelum.
A few short months later, Adesanya unified the belts when he topped Robert Whittaker with a thrilling second round knockout. He has defended it five times, including a July win over Jared Cannonier and a second victory vs. Whittaker in February.
With a win over Pereira, Adesanya would avenge those losses, earn his sixth title defense and likely secure his standing as the “Fighter of the Year” with three successful title defenses.