UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya has the chance to avenge a kickboxing loss under MMA rules later this year, facing rival Alex Pereira in a five-round title fight.
Adesanya and Pereira are expected to meet at UFC 281 on November 12th, per an announcement made by the middleweight champion on ESPN’s SportCenter this Friday. The fight will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, USA.
Adesanya, one of the UFC’s most dominant current reigning champions, has a history with Pereira. They met twice during their kickboxing careers, with Pereira earning a victory in both encounters. Most notably, Pereira handed Adesanya a third-round finish loss in 2017, marking the now-UFC champion’s last appearance in the combat sport before transitioning fully to MMA.
Pereira joined the UFC roster late last year and has already worked his way up to a title shot. He scored a fast finish victory earlier this year, stopping the momentum of Sean Strickland in the first round with a left hook knockout.
In previous appearances, Pereira beat Bruno Silva on scorecards and earned a flying knee finish over Andreas Michailidis.
Pereira currently only has an MMA record of six wins and one loss but carries with him an extensive and highly successful kickboxing career. He had a long run in top promotion GLORY Kickboxing, holding their middleweight belt during a large portion of his stint.
Adesanya will attempt to defend his belt for the sixth time in the upcoming appearance. He has already appeared twice in 2022, scoring wins over Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier.