UFC 281 Adesanya vs. Pereira: Live outcomes and evaluation

NEW YORK — Israel Adesanya will search his sixth protection of the UFC’s middleweight championship Saturday, when he meets acquainted rival in Alex Pereira at UFC 281 inside Madison Sq. Backyard.

Adesanya (23-1) has received greater than 3 times as many MMA contests as Pereira (6-1) has even competed in, however the UFC accelerated this matchup attributable to their historical past. Pereira holds two victories over Adesanya in skilled kickboxing, together with a vicious knockout in 2017.

It is an incredible narrative for Adesanya’s newest title protection, and will preclude a extremely technical combat. Pereira has completed two of his three UFC opponents by way of knockout.

Within the co-main occasion, two-time strawweight champion Carla Esparza (19-6) is a major underdog towards former champion Zhang Weili (22-3), though Esparza has thrived within the underdog function earlier than. Additionally, light-weight fan favorites Dustin Poirier (28-7) and Michael Chandler (23-7) sq. off and icon Frankie Edgar makes the ultimate Octagon stroll of his profession as he faces Chris Gutierrez.

Observe alongside as Brett Okamoto, Marc Raimondi and Jeff Wagenheim recap the motion or watch the fights reside on ESPN+ PPV.


Struggle in progress

Middleweight: Andre Petroski (8-2, 3-0 UFC, -200) vs. Wellington Thurman (18-5, 3-3 UFC, +170)


UFC 281 outcomes

Light-weight: Matt Frevola (10-3-1, 4-3-1 UFC) def. Ottman Azaitar (13-1, 2-1 UFC) by knockout (Watch this combat on ESPN+)

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Matt Frevola drops Ottman Azaitar with one unimaginable punch to the chin.

Lengthy Island confirmed out at Madison Sq. Backyard.

Frevola starched Azaitar with a proper hand adopted by a left hook for a knockout at 2:30 of the primary spherical. Azaitar got here in laborious and landed a shot of his personal, however Frevola countered with that quick proper after which put Azaitar down for good with the left.

This was a homecoming for Frevola, who’s from Huntington, New York and trains at LAW MMA in Backyard Metropolis with UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling and Merab Dvalishvili.

Frevola, 32, has received two straight and has simply two losses in his final seven fights. “The Steamrolla” picked up his first professional profession win in New York. At MSG, he went to a draw with Lando Vannata at UFC 230 in 2018.

Azaitar, a 32-year-old German-born Morrocan fighter, was undefeated, coming in with a pair of UFC KO/TKO victories on his document.


Strawweight: Karolina Kowalkiewicz (14-7, 7-7 UFC) def. Silvana Gómez Juárez (11-5, 1-3 UFC) by unanimous choice (Watch this combat on ESPN+)

Kowalkiewicz, of Poland, improved to 2-0 in 2022 with a detailed choice victory over Gomez Juarez. All three judges scored the bout 29-28 for Kowalkiewicz.

Kowalkiewicz dominated the opening spherical together with her grappling, instantly taking Gomez Juarez’s again and sustaining that place for the whole spherical. Nonetheless, the second and third rounds had been extraordinarily shut, with Kowalkiewicz working straight punches at angles and Gomez Juarez responding with heavy counter photographs.

Gomez Juarez particularly began to time the counter proper hand. She additionally went to the physique in boxing exchanges. Kowalkiewicz narrowly out-landed her in complete strikes, however the energy appeared to favor Gomez Juarez. However, Gomez Juarez nodded because the scores had been learn and Kowalkiewicz stated she believed she’d achieved sufficient to win the combat.

Kowalkiewicz, 37, stated she’s re-committed to MMA after going forwards and backwards with retirement amid a five-fight skid. Gomez Juarez drops to 2-2 within the UFC.


Males’s featherweight: Michael Trizano (11-3, 4-3 UFC) def. SeungWoo Choi (10-6, 3-5 UFC) by knockout (Watch this combat on ESPN+)

Two featherweights on dropping streaks entered the Octagon, decided to get off to a constructive begin. Then, within the opening 30 seconds, each unleashed massive left hooks concurrently. Each landed flush, and each males fell to the canvas.

And with that we had the primary crowd-pleasing combat of the evening. As soon as each males climbed again to their ft, they resumed throwing massive leather-based, with Choi persevering with with the laborious left hooks and Trizano touchdown proper palms that threatened to finish the combat. However then he went again to the left, did finish the combat with a crisp examine hook.

The primary spherical was winding down when Trizano floored Choi and swarmed him for the end at 4:51.

“I was not going to be denied. I don’t care. I was going to go out on my shield,” stated Trizano, who’s 30 and from Ramsey, New Jersey, and ended a two-fight dropping streak.

Choi, a 30-year-old from South Korea, has misplaced three fights in a row.


Bantamweight: Montel Jackson (12-2, 6-2 UFC) def. Julio Arce (18-6, 5-4 UFC) by unanimous choice (Watch this combat on ESPN+)

With the assistance of that late knockdown, Jackson was in a position to pull out a unanimous choice (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) victory over Arce. Jackson has now knocked down his opponent in 5 straight bouts. This one got here on an influence jab that ended up inflicting nasty swelling and bruising on Arce’s left eye. Jackson stated he began the combat wrestling to get Arce extra stationary within the putting, resulting in that success on the ft.

“I was looking for him to get set a little bit,” Jackson stated. “He was moving a lot with his head.”

Jackson, 30, has received three straight and 6 of his final seven fights. The 30-year-old Milwaukee native has a 6-2 UFC document and appears prepared for larger issues within the 135-pound division. Arce, a 33-year-old who lives in Queens, New York, has alternated wins and losses in his final eight fights.


Mild heavyweight: Carlos Ulberg (8-1, 3-1 UFC) def. Nicolae Negumereanu (13-2, 4-2 UFC) by TKO (Watch this combat on ESPN+)

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Carlos Ulberg sends Nicolae Negumereanu to the mat and finishes him off with a flurry of punches.

In his first MMA look in New York, Ulberg placed on an absolute present in a first-round end towards Negumereanu. Ulberg instantly compromised Negumereanu’s lead left leg with calf kicks, earlier than dropping him with an ideal left hook within the middle of the cage. The end got here at 3:44 of the spherical.

Ulberg is certainly one of 4 members of New Zealand’s Metropolis Kickboxing staff competing tonight, and he actually obtained them off to a scorching begin. It was a flawless efficiency, as Negumereanu was solely credited with two strikes landed, neither of which had any impact on Ulberg.

The 31-year-old improves to 3-0 in his final three fights and 3-1 general within the UFC since coming off Contender Sequence in 2020.


Nonetheless to return:

  • Middleweight championship: Israel Adesanya (c) (23-1, 12-1 UFC, -220) vs. Alex Pereira (6-1, 3-0 UFC, +180)

  • Strawweight championship: Carla Esparza (c) (20-6, 10-4 UFC, +270) vs. Zhang Weili (22-3, 6-2 UFC, -340)

  • Light-weight: Dustin Poirier (28-7 1 NC, 20-6 1 NC UFC, -230) vs. Michael Chandler (23-7, 2-2 UFC, +190)

  • Bantamweight: Frankie Edgar (23-10-1, 18-10-1 UFC, +190) vs. Chris Gutierrez (18-3-2, 6-1-1 UFC, -230)

  • Light-weight: Dan Hooker (21-12, 11-8 UFC, -155) vs. Claudio Puelles (13-2, 5-1 UFC, +130)

  • Light-weight: Brad Riddell (10-3, 4-2 UFC, +105) vs. Renato Moicano (16-5-1, 8-5 UFC, -125)

  • Mild heavyweight: Dominick Reyes (12-3, 6-3 UFC, -220) vs. Ryan Spann (20-7, 6-2 UFC, +180)

  • Girls’s flyweight: Molly McCann (13-4, 6-3 UFC, +310) vs. Erin Blanchfield (9-1, 3-0 UFC, -400)

(c) = defending champion