UFC 287 is here and will take place on Saturday, April 8, live from the Kaseya Center in Miami, Fl. The main event of the evening is a middleweight title rematch between the champion Alex Pereira and the No. 1 contender Israel Adesanya. There are 13 bouts on the night between the early prelims, prelims, and the main card. The main card is slated to start at 10:00 p.m. EDT and be available for streaming on ESPN+.
Adesanya (23-2) was riding a three-bout winning streak entering his last fight against Pereira. The judges had him ahead going into the fifth round, and even if he lost the round, he would have still won the match. However, one last grasp from Pereira put the champion in an uncomfortable position against the cage that he couldn’t get out of. Once Pereira started landing punches to the head, Adesanya couldn’t stop it. He went from securing his fourth straight title defense to losing all in a matter of minutes.
Adesanya landed 119 total strikes during the bout for 57 percent, but he was only able to successfully land one of his four takedown attempts. He did take advantage though, landing six significant strikes from that position. He landed 77 significant strikes from distance and three from the clinch position.
The last time that Adesanya lost a title bout he was able to rebound and win his next bout a few months later. He lost to Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259 in March 2021 and then won his title back in June 2022 by defeating Marvin Vettori via a five-round unanimous decision. Adesyana should feel somewhat good about this one because he was winning the majority of the match, but he must fight for the full length this time if he wants to win his title back.
Despite being the challenger, Adesanya is the -135 favorite according to DraftKings Sportsbook.