UFC 281

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UFC 281: Adesanya vs. Pereira
The poster for UFC 281: Adesanya vs. Pereira
PromotionUltimate Fighting Championship
DateNovember 12, 2022 (2022-11-12)
VenueMadison Square Garden
CityNew York City, New York, United States
Total gate$11,562,807.77[1]
Event chronology
UFC Fight Night: Rodriguez vs. Lemos UFC 281: Adesanya vs. Pereira UFC Fight Night: Nzechukwu vs. Cuțelaba

UFC 281: Adesanya vs. Pereira was a mixed martial arts event produced by the Ultimate Fighting Championship that took place on November 12, 2022, at the Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, United States.[2]


A UFC Middleweight Championship bout between current champion Israel Adesanya and former Glory Middleweight and Light Heavyweight Champion Alex Pereira headlined the event.[3] The pairing previously met twice in kickboxing matchups. The first in April 2016 which Pereira won by unanimous decision. Their second meeting took place at Glory of Heroes 7 in March 2017, which Pereira won by third-round knockout.[4]

A UFC Women's Strawweight Championship bout between current two-time champion Carla Esparza and former champion Zhang Weili took place at the event.[5]

A lightweight bout between Matt Frevola and returning veteran Ottman Azaitar was rescheduled for this event.[6] The pairing was previously scheduled to meet in January 2021 at UFC 257, but Azaitar was pulled from the bout and had his contract briefly terminated after it was determined that he had violated COVID-19 health and safety protocols, as he attempted to help others enter the UFC's designated safety zone during fight week.[7]

At the weigh-ins, Ryan Spann and The Ultimate Fighter: Undefeated lightweight winner Michael Trizano missed weight. Spann weighed in at 206.6 pounds, six tenths of a pound over the light heavyweight non-title fight limit. Trizano weighed in at 147.6 pounds, one and six tenths of a pound over the featherweight non-title fight limit. Both bouts proceeded at catchweight with each being fined 20% of their individual purses, which went to their opponents former UFC Light Heavyweight Championship challenger Dominick Reyes and Seung Woo Choi respectively.[8]


Main card
Weight class Method Round Time Notes
Middleweight Alex Pereira def. Israel Adesanya (c) TKO (punches) 5 2:01 [a]
Women's Strawweight Zhang Weili def. Carla Esparza (c) Submission (rear-naked choke) 2 1:05 [b]
Lightweight Dustin Poirier def. Michael Chandler Submission (rear-naked choke) 3 2:00
Bantamweight Chris Gutiérrez def. Frankie Edgar KO (knee) 1 2:01
Lightweight Dan Hooker def. Claudio Puelles TKO (body kick) 2 4:06
Preliminary card (ESPNews / ESPN+)
Lightweight Renato Moicano def. Brad Riddell Submission (rear-naked choke) 1 3:20
Catchweight (206.6 lb) Ryan Spann def. Dominick Reyes KO (punches) 1 1:20
Women's Flyweight Erin Blanchfield def. Molly McCann Submission (kimura) 1 3:37
Middleweight Andre Petroski def. Wellington Turman Decision (unanimous) (30–27, 30–27, 29–28) 3 5:00
Early preliminary card (ESPN+ / UFC Fight Pass)
Lightweight Matt Frevola def. Ottman Azaitar KO (punch) 1 2:30
Women's Strawweight Karolina Kowalkiewicz def. Silvana Gómez Juárez Decision (unanimous) (29–28, 29–28, 29–28) 3 5:00
Catchweight (147.6 lb) Michael Trizano def. Seung Woo Choi KO (punches) 1 4:51
Bantamweight Montel Jackson def. Julio Arce Decision (unanimous) (30–27, 30–27, 29–28) 3 5:00
Light Heavyweight Carlos Ulberg def. Nicolae Negumereanu KO (punches) 1 3:44


Bonus awards[edit]

The following fighters received $50,000 bonuses.[10]

  • Fight of the Night: Dustin Poirier vs. Michael Chandler
  • Performance of the Night: Alex Pereira and Zhang Weili


With eleven finishes, this event ties UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Bisping and UFC 224 for most finishes in a single UFC event. It also ties the record for most first-round finishes in a single UFC event with seven.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Mike Bohn (2022-11-13). "UFC 281 post-event facts: Alex Pereira makes history with title win in 8th career fight". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2022-11-13.
  2. ^ Jesse Holland (2022-07-13). "Report - UFC 281 set for Madison Square Garden landing pad on November 12". mmamania.com. Retrieved 2022-07-17.
  3. ^ Nolan King (2022-08-05). "UFC 281 set with Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira headliner at Madison Square Garden". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2022-08-05.
  4. ^ Michael Owens (2020-11-25). "Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya: an undeniable trilogy?". mmauk.net. Retrieved 2022-08-05.
  5. ^ Nolan King (2022-08-18). "Carla Esparza announces UFC 281 title fight vs. Zhang Weili". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2022-08-18.
  6. ^ Nolan King (2022-08-22). "Ottman Azaitar vs. Matt Frevola rebooked for UFC 281 – after 'bag of potatoes' incident canceled first fight". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2022-08-22.
  7. ^ Alexander K. Lee (2021-01-22). "Ottman Azaitar cut from UFC after violating COVID-19 safety protocol". mmafighting.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2022-08-22.
  8. ^ Alexander K. Lee (2022-11-11). "UFC 281 weigh-in results: Alex Pereira makes weight at last minute, 2 miss". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2022-11-11.
  9. ^ "UFC 281: Adesanya vs. Pereira". Ultimate Fighting Championship. 5 August 2022. Retrieved 2022-08-05.
  10. ^ Dan Hiergesell (2022-11-13). "UFC 281 bonuses: Poirier vs. Chandler capture FOTN honors". mmamania.com. Retrieved 2022-11-13.