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Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira official for UFC 281 this November at MSG

UFC 276: Adesanya v Cannonier Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The long-awaited clash between reigning UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and surging contender Alex Pereira is finally on the books.

The two middleweight fighters are expected to headline the upcoming UFC 281 pay-per-view (PPV) event on Nov. 12 live on ESPN+ PPV from inside Madison Square Garden in New York City. This is according to a recent announcement made by ESPN.

Adesanya, 33, is coming off his fifth-straight middleweight title defense after cruising to a unanimous decision win over Jared Cannonier at UFC 276 this past July. While “Last Stylebender” hasn’t captured a finish inside of the Octagon since his knockout win over Paulo Costa back in 2020 the 185-pound king has been nearly untouchable inside of the cage. Luckily for fight fans who have been wanting more out of Adesanya’s fights he’ll be matched up against a proven offensive weapon in Pereira.

Pereira, 35, is coming off a masterful first-round knockout finish over Sean Strickland at UFC 276 as well. The former two-division GLORY kickboxing champion is hands down one of the best all-around strikers in combat sports today and he continues to prove it each and every time he steps inside of the cage, leading to a 3-0 UFC record. While “Poatan” does hold a knockout win over Adesanya when the two met under the GLORY banner back in 2017 mixed martial arts (MMA) is a completely different animal. Pereira will have to be at his absolute best to become the first fighter to defeat Adesanya at 185 pounds in MMA competition.

Earlier this week, it was announced that a lightweight tilt between former UFC title challengers Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler is also expected to take place at UFC 281 this November. If that’s the case, the upcoming PPV event at MSG is already turning into one of the best fight cards of 2022.

Stick with Mania for more UFC 281 fight card news.