Revealed on 10 Nov 2022 12:16 am (UK Time)
As an expert blended martial artists, Israel Adesanya has solely suffered one defeat in his profession. That loss got here because of an ill-advised foray into the sunshine heavyweight division to problem Jan Blachowicz for the UFC championship belt. Blachowicz did his job that night time, and confirmed the smaller Adesanya that weight divisions have been created in fight sports activities for a cause; smaller males have slim possibilities towards equally expert massive males when they’re every professionally educated. Though Adesanya was humbled that night time, it doesn’t examine to the brutal loss he suffered as a kickboxer to Alex Pereira again in 2017. Pereira gained with a highlight-worthy knockout that night. Now, 5 years later, he has climbed the blended martial arts ladder and can problem Adesanya for the group’s middleweight championship belt at UFC 281. There’s so much to unpack right here; with out additional ado, let’s get into it!
Adesanya vs. Pereira
Israel Adesanya is called “The Last Stylebender” as a result of he’s among the many most versatile fighters in blended martial arts. Within the middleweight division, he has acquired an aura of invincibility that few have ever recognized. He is ready to strike with accuracy that rivals an Olympic archer. He’s additionally an elite grappler regardless of the truth that his 6’4″ body places him at an obstacle towards shorter, extra compact middleweights. He’s undefeated within the middleweight division with 5 consecutive title protection to his credit score. Alex Pereira might have defeated him as a kickboxer, however overcoming Adesanya in blended martial arts presents a way more advanced problem.
Alex Pereira solely has three fights underneath his belt as a member of the UFC’s roster. He has skyrocketed to fame on this planet of blended martial arts as a consequence of his unimaginable kickboxing profession, which included stints because the Glory Middleweight Champion and the Glory Mild Heavyweight Champion. It is usually no secret that fights that can generate ticket gross sales can be made whatever the tenure of the individuals. The complete world of fight sports activities is aware of that Adesanya needs revenge on Pereira, whereas Pereira believes he can put an finish to Adesanya’s reign of terror. On Saturday, at Madison Sq. Backyard, these two warriors will meet within the heart of the octagon to settle their dispute as soon as and for all. You gained’t need to miss it!
Esparza vs. Weili
After shedding the UFC’s girls’s strawweight championship in 2015, Carla Esparza stayed centered on the purpose of reclaiming her title. Earlier this 12 months, in Might, Esparza achieved her purpose of reclaiming the belt when she defeated Rose Namajunas, greater than seven years after she initially misplaced her crown. Her upcoming bout towards Zhang Weili at UFC 281 would be the first title protection of her new reign as champion. One factor’s for sure, as onerous as Esparza fought to reclaim her crown, she is not going to relinquish it with out a combat!
In 2021, Zhang Weili challenged reigning strawweight champion Rose Namajunas for her title twice. Sadly, she was defeated each occasions. The second defeat got here by way of a break up determination, by which many pundits thought that Weili was the rightful winner of the bout. Nonetheless, she was in a position to bounce again with a formidable spinning backfist end towards Joanna Jędrzejczyk in June of this 12 months. Her show of ability and energy was sufficient to remind the blended martial arts world why she is likely one of the greatest girls’s strawweight fighters on this planet. On Saturday, she is going to get her probability to defeat the champion, and be topped the perfect in entrance of your entire world.
Poirier vs. Chandler
Dustin Poirier is a person who wants no introduction. The philanthropically-minded Baton Rouge native has turn out to be one of the crucial standard fighters on the UFC’s roster. He’s well-known for being the previous Interim Light-weight Champion, in addition to his trilogy towards Conor McGregor. Nonetheless, Poirier’s most up-to-date probability at turning into a champion, at UFC 269 in December of final 12 months, didn’t finish effectively. He suffered a disappointing defeat by the hands of Charles Oliveira. On Saturday, at UFC 281, he’ll get a shot at redemption in a bout towards Michael Chandler, one of many marquee names within the division.
Michael Chandler has a mediocre file of two wins and two losses as a member of the UFC’s roster, nevertheless, he’s ranked fifth within the light-weight division. That is largely as a consequence of his spectacular run as a member of the rival group Bellator, the place he gained the light-weight crown and had many spectacular title defenses. To Chandler’s credit score, he has solely confronted prime tier expertise since becoming a member of the UFC and has by no means confronted an unranked opponent. If he is ready to defeat Poirier on Saturday, he can be proper again within the dialogue for a shot on the light-weight crown.
Edgar vs. Gutiérrez
Bantamweight veteran Frankie Edgar has been an expert blended martial artist since 2005. He joined the UFC in 2007, when the group’s occasions have been being televised on Spike TV in the US, a community that’s not in existence. To say that he has witnessed the exponential development of blended martial arts firsthand can be a gross understatement. He has misplaced 4 out of his final 5 fights, however at 41-years-old, he has paid greater than sufficient dues to earn the respect of his friends. There are rumors that his subsequent combat can be his final. If that’s true, there is no such thing as a higher method to go away the game than ending with a pay-per-view occasion on the world well-known Madison Sq. Backyard!
Bantamweight challenger Chris Gutiérrez hasn’t misplaced a combat since November of 2018. Within the 4 years which have transpired since his final defeat he has amassed six wins and one draw, together with a present streak of three consecutive victories. He’s at the moment unranked, however a win at UFC 281 towards a well-known fighter like Frankie Edgar may change that in a rush. Be certain to tune in to witness these two gladiators lay all of it on the road within the heart of the octagon!
Hooker vs. Puelles
Dan Hooker was as soon as one of many greatest names within the UFC’s light-weight division, with many assuming that he can be an eventual champion someday. Nonetheless, he has misplaced 4 out of his final 5 fights and is now combating to stay among the many group’s prime fifteen fighters within the division. Hooker’s subsequent opponent, Claudio Puelles, is on a five-fight win streak however is on the outside-looking-in of the divisional rating. Make sure you tune in to observe Hooker try to retain his place whereas Puelles makes an attempt to exchange him within the rankings. This can be an all out battle and also you gained’t need to miss it!
Methods to Watch
UFC 281 could be seen by way of pay-per-view on BT Sport in the UK and thru ESPN Plus in the US. As all the time, we’ll have all the most recent updates concerning the outcomes of the fights, in addition to in depth evaluation out there proper right here at World in Sport!