Alex Pereira is set for his first title defence of UFC Middleweight Championship and it will come against none other than Israel Adesanya.
UFC President Dana White posted a video on UFC’s official channel and announced many bouts for UFC 287 PPV on April 8, 2023. White announced that Alex Pereira vs Israel Adesanya II bout will headline UFC 287.
Alex Pereira defeated Israel Adesanya at UFC 281 in November last year to win the Middleweight Championship. After a back-and-forth contest, Pereira was able to get a knockout on Adesanya late in the fifth round. Pereira won the title in just his fourth UFC bout within one year of making his UFC and in his eighth MMA bout overall.
Israel Adesanya, who reigned over the middleweight division for three years prior to this loss, immediately asked for a rematch in due time. Before his defeat to Pereira, Adesanya has never lost in the middleweight division in MMA. His only loss before that came at the hands on Jan Blachowicz when Adesanya challenged for Light Heavyweight title at UFC 259.
Adesanya started his journey towards the title with a win over Middleweight GOAT Anderson Silva. He then defeated Kelvin Gastelum for the interim middleweight title before unifying it by beating Robert Whittaker. During his title reigns, The Stylebender went on to defeat Yoel Romero, Paulo Costa, Jorge Masvidal, Marvin Vettori, Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier.
Pereira and Adesanya actually go back to their kickboxing days where Pereira holds two wins over Adesanya. It remains to be seen if Adesanya could come back and defeat one of his oldest foes in the business.
Dana White also confirmed a grudge match between Gilbert Burns and Jorge Masvidal as the co-main event of UFC 287 along with Kevin Holland vs Santiago Ponzinibbio welterweight bout. Raul Rosas Jr’s second UFC bout against Christian Rodriguez was also confirmed for the main card along with Rob Font vs Adrian Yanez bout.
While the card and date for UFC 287 are official now, UFC has not announced the location for the PPV event as of now. However, a leaked poster suggests that the event might take place in Miami, FL. Keep tuned in for the latest updates.