Israel Adesanya will defend his middleweight title against Alex Pereira in the main event of UFC 281.

The UFC has its main event at Madison Square Garden.

Israel Adesanya will defend his UFC middleweight title against longtime rival Alex Pereira in the main event of UFC 281 on Nov. 12 in New York, Adesanya announced Friday on SportsCenter.

Pereira owns two wins over Adesanya in kickboxing, including one by knockout. ESPN has Adesanya tied for third on its pound-for-pound MMA list. At middleweight, Adesanya is No. 1 and Pereira is No. 7. Pereira, a former two-division Glory Kickboxing champion, beat Adesanya in kickboxing once by decision in 2016 and then again a year later by knockout.

Adesanya (23-1) is unbeaten in his career at middleweight. The Nigerian-born New Zealand resident has won three straight fights since falling in a light heavyweight title fight to Jan Blachowicz in March 2021. Adesanya, 33, has five successful title defenses at heavyweight. middleweight, with the undisputed title since October 2019.

Pereira (6-1) is coming off a first-round knockout of Sean Strickland at UFC 276 last month, the same card on which Adesanya successfully defended his title against Jared Cannonier. The Brazilian slugger has five finishes in six professional MMA wins since he came from kickboxing.

Pereira, 35, is 3-0 in the UFC with a pair of $50,000 Performance of the Night bonuses to his name.

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