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Israel Adesanya vs. Brad Tavares set for TUF 27 Finale main event

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Israel Adesanya will get a serious test in his third UFC fight.

The precocious, charismatic striker will take on perennially ranked middleweight Brad Tavares in the TUF 27 Finale on July 6 in Las Vegas, the UFC announced Monday.

Adesanya (13-0) has won both of his first two UFC fights, most recently defeating Marvin Vettori by split decision at UFC on FOX 29 earlier this month. The Nigerian by way of New Zealand knocked off Rob Wilkinson by second-round TKO in his UFC debut at UFC 221 in February. Adesanya, 28, is a decorated kickboxer with highlight-reel knockout ability, nicknamed “The Last Stylebender.”

Tavares (17-4) has won four straight, perhaps the most impressive run of his long UFC career. The Hawaii native, who now lives and trains in Las Vegas, beat Krzysztof Jotko by third-round TKO at UFC on FOX 29. Tavares, 30, has been in the UFC since The Ultimate Fighter 11 in 2010.

Also on the TUF 27 Finale card, former Invicta champion Barb Honchak will take on Roxanne Modafferi in a women’s flyweight bout and Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series star Julian Marquez faces Aliessio Di Chirico. The event will take place at Pearl Theatre at Palms Casino Resort.