Israel Adesanya isn’t too worried about his upcoming title defense.
At UFC 281 on Nov. 12, 2022, in New York City, Adesanya will once again square off with old kickboxing rival, Alex Pereira, but this time it will be under mixed martial arts (MMA) rules. Since beginning his MMA journey in 2015, Pereira has rattled off six wins in a row after an unsuccessful debut. He most recently scored his biggest win yet, knocking out Sean Strickland (watch highlights) the same night that Adesanya last defended his title at UFC 276 in July 2022.
For the reigning champion, this fight will act as his shot at redemption with Pereira having defeated him twice in their previous kickboxing matches. Though he suffered a brutal knockout loss in the rematch, Adesanya believes he’s well equipped to handle what the Brazilian has to offer inside the Octagon.
“Threat meter? To be honest, as an MMA fighter, I’ll give him like a six, if I’m being honest,” Adesanya told Combat TV. “There’s one thing he’s really good at, it’s that left hook. That’s what he catches a lot of people with. He’s not gonna catch me with a flying knee. I don’t think he’s tried in the past. I probably done it to him in the past, yeah, I’ve caught him with a flying knee before.
“But left hook, that’s the main thing to look out for,” he concluded. “You gotta take care of that, and I can take care of everything else.”
Like Pereira, Adesanya’s transition to MMA has been seamless, losing just one fight in his 24-fight career. A win at UFC 281 would count as the sixth official Middleweight title defense for “The Last Stylebender.”
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 281 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard (on ESPNEWS/ESPN+) at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 281: “Adesanya vs. Pereira” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.
Get the latest gear
- 2023 Panini Prizm UFC Factory Sealed Retail Blaster Box
- 2023 Panini Select UFC Factory Sealed Retail Blaster Box
- Islam Makhachev Walkout Jersey
- UFC Fanatics Single Glove Display Case
- 2022 Panini Donruss Optic Retail Blaster Box
- 2023 Donruss UFC Retail Blaster Box
- Miesha Tate UFC Authentic Plaque
- Brock Lesnar WWE Home Sweet Home Collage