The New Zealander will take on Brazilian nemesis Alex Pereira at Madison Square Garden
UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will have the chance to avenge two of his most painful losses in combat sports on Nov. 12 at Madison Square Garden.
As announced by the elite MMA promotion on Friday night, the New Zealander is set to face bitter Brazilian rival Alex Pereira in the main event at UFC 281 in New York.
With Pereira picking up two victories over Adesanya since his kickboxing days, the last of which, in 2017, came by a brutal knockout, ‘The Last Stylebender’ has the chance to exact revenge on ‘Stone Hand’ once and for all. , which is not lost on him.
Posting on Twitter shortly after the UFC announcement, Adesanya shared a photo of the pair and wrote: “Vengeance is mine, says the lord.”
“Brooooo, I said the same thing too!! It ends here. Kill or be killed,” he added.
Meeting Pereira sees the UFC and its president Dana White honoring Adesanya’s wishes, which were made public after his last fight against Jared Cannonier.
After winning a unanimous decision over the American at UFC 276, Adesanya called out Pereira and threatened to take him down “frozen like Elsa” in reference to the popular Disney film – a remark that found him ridiculed by another archenemy of former lightweight executive Jon Jones.
Pereira had impressed earlier on the card by flattening Sean Strickland with a brutal first-round knockout, and joined the crowd of disgruntled fight fans including Hollywood A-lister Chris Pratt who was unmoved by the half-hearted victory of Adesanya on Cannonier.
Pereira said he “really” upset him “to see how he [Adesanya] fought tonight”.
“A performance like that is a disrespect to the crowd,” Pereira continued through a translator.
“I’ve seen thousands and thousands of people here, I couldn’t even count how many, and it’s sad to see people booing like that during a title fight.
“People were leaving in the fourth round like the fight was over. That really upsets me,” concluded Pereira.
Finishing his kickboxing career with a respectable 75-5 record, Adesanya is 23-1 in MMA and is undefeated in the middleweight division.
Since becoming champion in 2019 by stopping Rob Whittaker at UFC 243 in Melbourne, Adesanya has put up five defenses from the 185-pound strap and is on a three-fight winning streak since losing a attempt to become a two-division king again and then light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz in March last year.
As for Pereira, who is two years older than Adesanya at 35, he only made his UFC debut at UFC 268 at Madison Square Garden in November 2021 and will fight for the title there- low one year and six days later.
Losing his MMA debut, he has since embarked on a blistering six-fight run to improve to 6-1, with five of those wins.
In the UFC, Pereira is 3-0 and already has two Performance of the Night bonuses under his belt.
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