UFC 281 kicks off with a 14-fight card that is culminated by a middleweight title showdown between Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira. The event will take place live from the Madison Square Garden in New York City on Saturday, November 12. The co-feature is a battle for the women’s strawweight title between Carla Esparza and former champion Zhang Weili.
The main card gets going at 10 p.m., and Adesanya vs. Pereira is the fifth and final fight on the main card. Their bout is likely to get going around midnight or late, depending on the length of the undercard and previous bouts on the card.
Adesanya (23-1) is beginning to stake his claim as one of the great middleweights in UFC history and could use another impressive victory to begin that discussion. In the sixth defenseof his title, “The Last Stylebender” will be defending against Pereira (6-1), an old foe from the kickboxing days.
Pereira is a +180 underdog at DraftKings Sportsbook, but he has two wins over Adesanya in kickboxing, so the potential for an upset is very like. Adesanya is still a -210 favorite and will have a major experience edge in MMA fights.