Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will hold a special pre-fight press conference today (Weds., Nov. 9), LIVE at 6 p.m. ET featuring the top stars from the upcoming UFC 281 pay-per-view (PPV) fight card. UFC 281, which takes place this Sat. night (Nov. 12, 2022) at Madison Square Garden in New York City, will be headlined by the middleweight title fight pitting reigning 185-pound kingpin Israel Adesanya against longtime kickboxing rival Alex Pereira, a five-round showdown that follows the women’s strawweight contest between current 115-pound champion Carla Esparza and former division titleholder Zhang Weili. Elsewhere on the card, lightweight gladiators Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler collide at 155 pounds.
CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLE-DIP! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to “The Fight Mecca,” Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y., on Sat., Nov. 12, 2022, featuring two highly-anticipated championship showdowns. In UFC 281’s pay-per-view (PPV) main event, Middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, will look to settle the score with former kickboxing foe and No. 5-seeded contender, Alex Pereira. In the ESPN+-streamed PPV co-main event, women’s Strawweight champion, Carla Esparza, intends to defend her newly-won title for the first time against former champion and No. 2-ranked contender, Zhang Weili.
“It is [business], but it’s personal,” Adesanya recently told The MMA Hour. “This is about me and my legacy. This is about rewriting history. Even though it is history and I never chased this, this is about me rewriting a new path of history and just showing people what I can really do because, again, y’all must’ve forgot. They forget, they always forget. It’s because of this Tik Tok era, the attention span is so quick, they move on so fast. So this is personal. For me, I’ve said less, he can do all the tennis ball videos and f****** hoverboard things he wants, but for me I’m just like, ‘Cool. You do you.’ He has bragging rights, so let him do that, but when it’s time I know something he doesn’t. I can’t tell you.”
“I’m going to show people that I’ve been training MMA for a while and how dangerous I can be in MMA,” Pereira said at the UFC 281 media day (watch the replay here). “We’ve both evolved a lot, but I think I have the edge in kickboxing, because I’ve evolved a lot after the fight. People want to say, ‘Oh, but now this is an MMA fight.’ But many people think this is going to be a kickboxing fight inside an Octagon. So with that said, who do you think is going to have the edge? Me, who kept doing kickboxing for all those years, or him, who stopped training kickboxing? I think if they come and ask him after that for a rematch, I don’t think he wants that.”
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 281 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches at 6 p.m. ET, followed by the remaining undercard balance on ESPN+/ESPNews at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
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