Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is undefeated in the Middleweight in the UFC and the fighter has totally dominated his division with two title defenses already in the bag in 2022. UFC 281 at Madison Square Garden is likely to change that narrative as Adesanya gets into the Octagon against Brazilian Alex Pereira who he twice lost to at Glory Kickboxing. Pereira has destroyed all opponents thrown at him in the UFC so far and already has a championship shot after debuting in the UFC last November. The fight is a five-round event and will take place at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, 13th November 2022 in the Big Apple.
MMA: UFC Middleweight championship
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York
Date: 13-11-2022: 06:00
Where to watch: ESPN+
33-year-old Nigerian-New Zealander Adesanya is UFC royalty. Ranked number two in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings, “The Last Stylebender” is 23-1 in the UFC, with his sole loss coming against Jan Blachowicz at Light Heavyweight. Adesanya is the top-ranked fighter in the 185-pound class, and this year he has already defended his title against Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier, going the distance in both bouts. At Glory, he lost two times to Alex Pereira: by decision and by knockout. Most of his UFC success has come due to his massive striking skills, especially his leg kicks. Against a kickboxer arguably better than him, pundits feel that his advantages may be whittled down. Adesanya has never been knocked down in the UFC and even as he has acknowledged the threat of Pereira, he has also dismissed it.
In that moment, I got too hungry and then I blew my load a little bit. In the third round, he did his work, and I’ve given him thumbs up for that. He came in ready, walking me down, throwing, throwing, and then went boom, caught me, and that was all she wrote. That was me not staying true to my style. I know how to touch this guy bad. I know how to vary my attacks, and I know how to fight properly. I might just jab and leg kick him.
Israel Adesanya, Tale of the Tape
- Age: 33
- Height: 6’ 4”
- Reach: 80”
- Total fights: 24
- Record: 23-1-0
Alex Pereira has fought seven times in the MMA and already has a championship shot. His UFC career began last year at Madison Square Garden and after knocking out Sean Strickland in the first round at UFC 276, he won his second Performance of the Night bonus award in the UFC. The 35-year-old former two-division Kickboxing star has been exceptional since transitioning to mixed martial arts in 2015. In seven fights in MMA, he has five knockouts. His UFC debut ended in a second-round TKO of Andreas Michailidis before finally stopping Strickland. Pereira is the first fighter in GLORY history to hold two belts at the same time simultaneously.
That last fight we had, I was touching him, I had him rocked. There’s no referee to save – Dana, bring back Steve Mazzagatti. Bring back Steve Mazzagatti to ref my fight, because I want to hear ‘fight back’ as I’m punching him in the face like 50 times. I want to hear ‘Fight back, you need to move Alex, you need to move, fight back, now hook him up.’ I wanna hear that like 50 times before they drag me off of him.
Alex Pereira, Tale of the Tape
- Age: 35
- Height: 6’ 4”
- Reach: 79”
- Total fights: 7
- Record: 6-1-0
Adesanya is the favorite as usual in MMA Middleweight. However, he is at 1.57 odds to win on Bet 365 as the bookies are wary of Alex Pereira who is priced at 2.50 odds on Bet 365. Going for over 3.5 rounds is set at 1.632 odds on 1xbet and under 4.5 rounds is priced at 2.045 odds on 1xbet. A bet that the fight will not go the distance is at 1.71 odds on Betway.