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UFC 281 live blog: Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira

This is the UFC 281 live blog for Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira, the middleweight title fight on Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Once upon a time, all the way back in 2016, Adesanya faced Pereira in a kickboxing match for Glory. After a competitive three rounds, Adesanya lost a controversial decision to the Brazilian fighter, and so, one year later, the two rematched at Glory of Heroes 7. This time, there was no controversy when Pereira put Adesanya to sleep in the third round of their fight. It ended the kickboxing career of “The Last Stylebender” and sending him off to MMA full-time.

Now, five years later and in a different sport, Adesanya finally gets his chance to exact revenge.

Pereira signed with the UFC in 2021, and the promotion did little to hide their intention of rushing him to a title fight with Adesanya. And that’s exactly what happened. Pereira knocked out Andrea Michailidis in his debut, won a unanimous decision over Bruno Silva in his sophomore outing, and then turned in an incredible highlight-reel KO of Sean Strickland to secure his chance at the middleweight title. And while the road was certainly shorter than most to get here, the fight is undeniably the most interesting challenge for Adesanya in a long time.

Check out the UFC 281 live blog below.

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