UFC 281 set with Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira as headliner at Madison Square Garden

Over the years Israel Adesanya and Alex Perera are both back on the field. This time, it will be in MMA – on one of the biggest combat sports stages in one of the world’s most prestigious venues.

UFC 281 is set for Nov. 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York and is set to headline Adesanya (23-1 MMA, 12-1 UFC) vs. Perera (6-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC), the promotion announced. Friday via broadcast partner ESPN.

This time Nov. No other bouts are set for the 12 pay-per-view, although a lightweight bout between Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler is being discussed, possibly for that date.

The matchup has been hinted at by the promotion since UFC 276 on July 6. On that pay-per-view card, both Adesanya and Pereira won. Adesanya successfully defended his title against Jared Cannonier, two fights later Perera promptly knocked out Sean Strickland with his signature left hook.

With former Glory kickboxing champion Pereira going full force into mixed martial arts in 2020, fans are looking forward to a matchup against his two-time rival Adesanya – even before he signs with the UFC in 2021.

As for the two kickboxing fights, Pereira is 2-0 against Adesanya. The first meeting took place in April 2016, during which Adesanya lost a unanimous decision to Perera – a controversial decision for Adesanya.

The rematch took place in March 2017 and full highlights of the fight can be seen in the video above. As Adesanya stated in his UFC 276 pre-fight news conference, Pereira was injured before his Brazilian opponent knocked him out with a left hook.