Several fights are reported to take place at UFC 281 PPV in the last couple of days including a co-main event bout between Carla Esparza and Zhang Weili.
UFC Strawweight Champion Carla Esparza’s first title defense in this reign has been verbally agreed with former champion Zhang Weili for UFC 281. The report first came from Ariel Helwani on MMA Hour, and Esparza has confirmed the bout on Instagram since then.
The inaugural champion, Carla Esparza( won the strawweight title for the second time by defeating Rose Namajunas at UFC 274. That bout was severely criticized by fans and media alike since both fighters took a defensive approach and did not engage for the most part during the bout. This was the sixth straight win for Esparza, a streak dating back to 2019.
Zhang Weili won the strawweight title in August 2019 by defeating Jéssica Andrade. She defended it successfully against Joanna Jędrzejczyk at UFC 248. She fought Rose Namajunas twice in 2021 and lost both times to surrender the title. The second bout against Namajunas came at Madison Square Garden itself, the venue for UFC 281. Weili once again defeated Jędrzejczyk at UFC 275 via second-round KO to return to title contention.
Mike Trizano(9-3) vs Seung Woo Choi(10-5) featherweight bout is also reported by Eurosport Netherland’s Marcel Dorff. Trizano has lost both of his bouts in 2022 against Hakeem Dawodu and Lucas Almeida. Woo Choi has also lost his last bouts against Alex Caceres and Joshua Culibao over the last 10 months.
Renato Moicano(16-5-1) vs Brad Riddell(10-3) lightweight bout has been verbally agreed as per a report from MMA Junkie. Moicano fought twice on back-to-back PPVs earlier this year. He first defeated Alexander Hernandez at UFC 271 before stepping up as short notice replacement to face Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC 272. Moicano managed to survive all 5 rounds against Dos Anjos despite taking a lot of damage. Brad Riddell is on a two-fight losing streak with his last fight ending in just 45 seconds where he submitted to Jalin Turner.
Karolina Kowalkiewicz(13-7) vs Silvana Gomez Juarez bout was reported by ESPN Deportes for UFC 281 PPV. Kowalkiewicz broke her 5 fights losing streak with a win over Felice Herrig this year in June. Juarez is 2-2 since the start of 2021 with a win in her last fight over Liang Na at UFC 275.
UFC 281 PPV will take place at Madison Square Garden, New York City, on November 12, 2022. Israel Adesanya vs Alex Pereira Middleweight title bout will headline the show. Check here for the latest details from UFC 281 card.