Israel Adesanya’s middleweight title defense against Alex Pereira in the UFC 281 main event at Madison Square Garden is about to begin, as the champion looks to avenge two kickboxing defeats to his challenger.
Adesanya is unbeaten at middleweight in mixed martial arts, his sole professional loss having come while challenging for light heavyweight gold last year. But the Nigerian-born New Zealander’s kickboxing career involved a few losses, with Brazilian Pereira having outpointed Adesanya in 2016 and knocked out the “Last Stylebender” in 2017.
Pereira, 35, is 6-1 in MMA, having won five of those bouts via knockout while being fast-tracked to a title shot in New York City tonight.
Pereira remains the only fighter to have knocked Adesanya out.
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