Israel Adesanya will have revenge on his mind when he faces Alex Pereira at UFC 281 PPV.
Adesanya revealed on ESPN Sportscenter on Friday that he will defend his Middleweight Championship against the only men who defeated him twice.
Alex Periera defeated Adesanya twice in kickboxing bouts, first in April 2016 via decision and then in March 2017 rematch via knockout. That second loss was Adesanya’s last kickboxing bout after which he turned into the best Middleweight MMA fighter in the world, winning 21 straight bouts in the division.
Adesanya transcended to win the interim UFC Middleweight title by defeating Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 236 and later unified the titles by beating Robert Whittaker at UFC 243 in Melbourne in October 2019. He has since defended the title successfully five times against the likes of Yoel Romero, Paulo Costa, Marvin Vettori, Robert Whittaker and, most recently at UFC 276 against Jarred Cannonier.
Pereira came to UFC last year and is fast-tracked into the title scene after just three wins. He knocked out Andreas Michailidis in his UFC debut at UFC 268 last year before getting a decision win Bruno Silva earlier this year. Pereira was on the undercard for UFC 276 where he knocked out Sean Strickland in first round to show that he is a credible contender for Adesanya’s throne in MMA also.
UFC 281 will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City on November 12, 2022. This will be third PPV headliner in 2022 for Adesanya after UFC 271 and UFC 276. How will he cope with Pereira in the Octagon with those two losses in his head?
Pereira has shown his skills in his short UFC career but it remains to be seen if he can once again draw out Adesanya into making mistakes which he has largely avoided since winning the UFC title?