Israel Adesanya to defend UFC title against kickboxing rival at UFC 281 │ GMA News Online

Reigning UFC middleweight world champion Israel Adesanya is expected to defend his gold-plated strap against an enemy familiar to Alex Pereira in the UFC 281 main event on November 12 at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

“A suitable headliner for our return to MSG! Israel Adesanya will defend UFC middleweight title against Alex Pereira this November! UFC announced today.

Adesanya and Pereira have already fought twice under the rules of kickboxing. They first met in the ring in 2016, where the Brazilian won by decision. The following year a rematch took place in which Adesanya was left lying on the canvas after eating a monstrous left hook.

33-year-old Adesanya is 23-1 as a mixed martial artist and has won all of his fights in the 185-pound division and is coming out of a unanimous decision over Jared Cannonier last month. Peirera, meanwhile, is 6-1 in MMA and has won all three of his bouts in the UFC.

—JMB, GMA news