After a rare week off, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is back on pay-per-view (PPV) this weekend (Sat., Apr. 8, 2023) ... and the promotion is returning to “The Sunshine State,” more specifically, Miami. In UFC 287’s pay-per-view (PPV) main event, a grudge rematch takes place between heated rivals Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya for the Middleweight title.
UFC 287 is loaded with fun fights up and down the card, so before it goes down, let’s check out some random storylines, tidbits and statistics ahead of showtime (10 p.m. ET).
The Fourth Fight
Let’s start with the obvious: Pereira and Adesanya have fought three times between two different combat sports, and “The Last Stylebender” has lost all of them. What’s crazy about this rivalry is Adesanya was beating Pereira in all three fights ... until he wasn’t.
Here’s the recap so far:
- Pereira won a unanimous decision over Adesanya in 2016 (Kickboxing)
- Pereira knocked Adesanya unconscious in 2017 (Kickboxing)
- Pereira finished Adesanya in 2022 (watch highlights), capturing UFC’s 185-pound title (MMA)
Main Event Izzy
UFC 287 will be Adesanya’s tenth main event and his ninth consecutive. His first main event was The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 27 Finale in 2018.
Israel Adesanya’s UFC debut vs. UFC 287— MMA Mania (@mmamania) April 5, 2023
(2018 & 2023) pic.twitter.com/wRF4vxJlsk
Return to Miamiii
While UFC has been to Florida numerous times in the past few years, this is the first time the promotion has stopped in Miami since UFC 42: “Sudden Impact” back in 2003. Matt Hughes defended his Welterweight championship against Sean Sherk in the main event that evening.
Jorge Masvidal fights in his hometown of Miami for the first time since 2010, which came against Luis Palomino at G-Force Fights 3. “Gamebred” fights Gilbert Burns, who also calls Boca Raton, Fla., his home, just 65 miles up the road from Miami.
Big fight between Jorge Masvidal & Gilbert Burns this weekend— MMA Mania (@mmamania) April 3, 2023
• No. 5 vs. No. 11
• ATT vs. Kill Cliff FC
• Florida vs. Florida
• Both are former lightweights
Must Win Masvidal
Masvidal returns for the first time since his loss to former friend-turned enemy, Colby Covington, at UFC 272. At 38 years old, a loss to Burns could be detrimental to his career. He even hinted that a loss at UFC 287 could be it for his legendary underrated run.
Jorge Masvidal says Colby Covington is the king of calling cops and sucking cocks#UFC287— MMA Mania (@mmamania) April 5, 2023
ATT Vs. Kill Cliff FC
One last thing about Masvidal vs. Burns: On top of the fantastic match up between the fighters, it is the battle between the two top Florida gyms. Masvidal represents American Top Team (ATT), while Burns represents Kill Cliff FC (formerly Sanford MMA).
Adrian Yanez Gets Ranked Opponent
The time has come for knockout artist and fan favorite, Adrian Yanez, to get a big step up in competition. He faces perennial Top 10-ranked Bantamweight, Rob Font, in the “featured” fight of UFC 287. Until now, Yanez has steamrolled through his competition and has been awarded for it significantly. In fact, the 29-year-old fighter from Texas has received a “Performance of the Night” bonus in all of his fights thus far (the only other fighters to do that are Justin Gaethje and Khamzat Chimaev).
Adrian Yanez has received a Performance of the Night or Fight of the Night in his first five fights.— MMA Mania (@mmamania) April 4, 2023
Only other people to do that are Justin Gaethje and Khamzat Chimaev #UFC287 pic.twitter.com/fhkW4tRxGM
Calvillo Returns To 115
After a five-fight run at flyweight, Cynthia Calvillo returns to Strawweight where she had the bulk of her success. While the return to Strawweight is exciting, it is also a last-ditch effort to keep her place in the UFC and the sport of MMA. The 35-year-old has lost four fights in a row, being finished in two of them.
She faces Loopy Godinez.
Raul Rosas Jr. On PPV!
The youngest fighter on UFC’s roster, Raul Rosas Jr., makes his second appearance in the Octagon this weekend. “El Nino Problema” was successful in his highly anticipated UFC debut when he made quick work of Jay Perrin at UFC 282 (watch highlights).
The 18-year-old will be making his PPV main card debut against Christian Rodriguez after headlining the “Prelims” undercard in his last outing.
Rosas Jr. vs. Rodriguez pic.twitter.com/Ey7rbqCW7T— MMA Mania (@mmamania) April 6, 2023
With Rosas Jr. on the main card, that means someone got bumped down to the “Prelims” and that someone is Kelvin Gastelum. The former Middleweight title challenger has not been on the “Prelims” since UFC 200 back in 2016. In fact, UFC 200 is the only other time Gastelum hasn’t fought on a UFC main card, which is very impressive when you think about it. He faces Chris Curtis.
There are a few fighters in UFC who are absolutely must-watch television, and one of them fights this weekend at UFC 287: Ignacio Bahamondes. The 25-year-old Chilean fighter goes to war every time he fights and, thus far in UFC, has put on banger after banger. In his second fight with the promotion, he had a “Knockout of the Year” contender against Roosevelt Roberts. Bahamondes faces Trey Ogden, who is stepping in on a week's notice.
Ignacio Bahamondes with a spinning wheel kick KO— Ocelot MMA (@Ocelot_MMA) April 4, 2023
He faces Trey Ogden at UFC 287 pic.twitter.com/2VB9XMYLOp
Welcome To UFC, Jaqueline Amorim
Only one fighter makes their UFC debut this weekend. Former Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) Strawweight champion, Jaqueline Amorim, enters UFC with an undefeated record (6-0) and a 100 percent finish rate (all coming in the first round). The Brazilian kicks off UFC 287 against Sam Hughes.
Do not mess with Jaqueline Amorim on the ground!!! #AndNew#LFA125 pic.twitter.com/a1jrEe93X8— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) February 26, 2022
Barnett Out, Williams In
It is very depressing that “Beastboy” had to pull out of his fight this weekend against Chase Sherman; however, his teammate, Karl Williams, stepped up on short notice following his successful Octagon debut at UFC Las Vegas, where he defeated Lukasz Brzeski. Well, you know the saying ... it is good to have good teammates (that’s not an actual saying).
Wins And losses
Sixteen fighters are coming off wins, while 10 are coming off losses.
Here are the divisions that will be on display this Saturday:
- One Heavyweight fight
- Three Middleweight fights
- Two Welterweight fights
- One Featherweight fight
- Two Bantamweight fight
- Three women’s Strawweight fights
- One Catchweight (160 pounds) fight (Bahamondes vs. Ogden)
According to DraftKings, the “biggest” underdog at UFC 287 is Masvidal at a sizable +365.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 287 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 ESPN/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 287: “Pereira vs. Adesanya 2” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.