On Saturday, former middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will take on arch-nemesis Alex Pereira in the main event of UFC 287 in Miami.
Adesanya’s problem is that he is 0-3 against Pereira and has been knocked out in his last two games. The latest finish came on November 12 in New York, where Pereira knocked out Adesanya in the fifth round of UFC 281 to win the middleweight title. Pereira was also 2-0 against Adesanya in kickboxing, winning his second bout with a third-round KO.
However, after losing the UFC belt to Pereira in a devastating fashion, Adesanya insisted on a rematch and got it. In that sense, Adesanya should have had a few more fights to regain his confidence and work on the new strategies needed to defeat Pereira.
But that is not how Israel Adesanya operates. He wanted a rematch and wanted it as soon as possible.UFC President Dana White often refers to fighters who take on difficult fights as “gangsters.” If Adesanya, who lost 3-0 and demanded a quick rematch after a back-to-back loss to Pereira, wasn’t a gangster, then nothing.
Adesanya is currently a -140 favorite on BetMGM +115 for Pereira.
Jorge Masvidal will take on Gilbert Burns in Saturday’s co-main event. His bitter rival, reigning welterweight champion Leon, needs a win not only to keep his dream of a match against Edwards, but also to avoid his four-game losing streak for the first time in his career. .
Barnes is almost a 5-1 favorite to win at BetMGM. Masvidal is currently the underdog at +340.
18-year-old prospect Raul Rosas Jr. kicks off the pay-per-view with a bantamweight clash with Cristian Rodriguez, followed by a welterweight bout between Kevin Holland and Santiago Ponzinibbio. Rob Font meets Adrian Yanez at 135 pounds just before the night’s featured fight.
Stay tuned to Yahoo Sports for all news and results across the card.
UFC 287 Live Tracker
UFC 287 Main Cards, Odds (Live on ESPN+ PPV)
Middleweight: Alex Pereira (+115) vs. Israel Adesanya (-135)
Welterweight: Gilbert Burns (-450) vs. Jorge Masvidal (+340)
Bantamweight: Rob Font (+145) vs. Adrian Yannes (-175)
Welterweight: Kevin Holland (-250) vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio (+200)
Bantamweight: Raul Rosas Jr. (-250) vs. Christian Rodriguez (+200)
UFC 287 Qualifying Results, Highlights
Middleweight: Kelvin Gastelum def. Chris Curtis (29-28, 29-28, 30-27) by unanimous decision
Strawweight: Luana Pinheiro def. Michelle Waterson-Gomez split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Middleweight: Joe Piefer def. Gerald Meerschaert by TKO (punch) at 3:15 on R1:
Heavyweight: Carl Williams (-400) vs. Chase Sherman (+310)
Strawweight: Loopy Godinez def. Cynthia Calvillo (29-28, 28-29, 30-27) by split decision
UFC 287 Early Qualifier Results, Highlights
Catchweight (160 lbs): Ignacio Bahammond def. Trey Ogden (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) by unanimous decision
Featherweight: Steve Garcia def. Shayilan Nuerdanbieke by KO (liver shot) at 0:36 on R2: