Where To Watch: Israel Adesanya Vs. Alex Pereira Tonight

Just as the dust has begun to settle from the monumental lightweight main event last month in Abu Dhabi, the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s main feature this Saturday will showcase a middleweight championship bout at UFC 281: Adesanya vs. Pereira.

Since his UFC debut in 2018, Israel Adesanya (23-1) has displayed a level of strategic striking excellence that has never been seen since the inception of the organization. Furthermore, his distance management and takedown defense has left even the most seasoned fighters at a total loss while trying to find holes in his game.

In his most recent showing versus the highly ranked Jared Cannonier (15-6), many thought we would see Adesanya face real adversity for one of the first times in the middleweight division. This was not the case as he was able to systematically pick apart Cannonier in the striking game and defend very well from within the clinch to nullify any attempts at bringing things to the canvas.

Alex Pereira (6-1) made a name for himself in the world of professional kickboxing, becoming one of the best to ever do it in his weight class. He made the jump to Mixed Martial Arts in 2020 and achieved a first-round knockout in the Legacy Fighting Alliance. From there, Pereira moved right to the UFC, where he recorded three additional wins since 2021, including the nasty left hook that knocked out Sean Strickland in the first round back in July.

Early into his MMA career, Pereira shows signs of becoming a serious force in the middleweight division and is putting in the work with Glover Teixeira to become a well-rounded fighter at the former champion’s gym in Connecticut.

While he is new to the UFC, Pereira is no stranger to Adesanya. The two competitors have met on more than one occasion in professional kickboxing, once in 2016 and again in 2017. Pereira would walk away as the victor following both contests, with the latter ending in a vicious knockout from a perfectly placed hook. In this, their third meeting, Adesanya will look to avenge his losses and prove that when it comes to middleweight MMA, he is the man.

In addition to the highly anticipated middleweight title match between Adesanya and Pereira, Carla Esparza (19-6) will defend her strawweight belt versus China’s Weili Zhang (22-3) in the co-main event.

Prior to the co-main attraction, is another extremely noteworthy battle set to take place within the rankings of the lightweight division. Crowd pleasing showman Michael Chandler (23-7) will have the challenge of taking on the only fighter to knockout Conor McGregor, and the only to finish Max Holloway, Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier (28-7).

Main card  

  • Middleweight Championship: Israel Adesanya (c) vs.Alex Pereira 
  • Women’s Strawweight Championship: Carla Esparza (c) vs. Zhang Weili 
  • Lightweight: Dustin Poirier vs.Michael Chandler 
  • Bantamweight: Frankie Edgar vs. Chris Gutiérrez 
  • Lightweight: Dan Hooker vs. Claudio Puelles 


  • Lightweight: Brad Riddell vs. Renato Moicano 
  • Light Heavyweight: Dominick Reyes vs. Ryan Spann 
  • Women’s Flyweight: Molly McCann vs. Erin Blanchfield 
  • Middleweight: Andre Petroski vs. Wellington Turman 

Early prelims 

  • Lightweight: Matt Frevola vs. Ottman Azaitar 
  • Women’s Strawweight: Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Silvana Gómez Juárez 
  • Featherweight: Michael Trizano vs. Choi Seung-woo 
  • Bantamweight: Julio Arce vs. Montel Jackson 
  • Light Heavyweight: Carlos Ulberg vs. Nicolae Negumereanu 

Date: November 12 

Time: Early prelims 6 p.m. ET, Prelims 8 p.m., Main Card 10 p.m. ET 

Stream/Channel: ESPN+ 

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