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Don't Miss A Battle For The Middleweight Title at UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira, Live From Madison Square Garden In New York City On Saturday November 12, 2022
Results

UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira Results

Results As They Happen, Winner Interviews And More From UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira, Live From Madison Square Garden In New York 

Madison Square Garden has its own special kind of energy, and when you fill it with ravenous fans and serve them up the best fight card of the year, it can be magical, and that’s the precise word to describe UFC 281 — magical.

From the opening bout of the evening to the middleweight championship main event between Israel Adesanya and his kickboxing rival Alex Pereira, Saturday’s fight card at the world’s most famous arena had fans out of their seats and in full throat, cheering on the action and captivated by the theatrics.

It was an insane night with the Octagon at MSG.

Here’s a look at what transpired. | Official Scorecards

UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira Results 

  • Main Event: Alex Pereira defeats Israel Adesanya by TKO (punches) at 2:01 of Round 5
  • Co-Main Event: Zhang Weili defeats Carla Esparza by submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:05 of Round 2
  • Dustin Poirier defeats Michael Chandler by submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:00 of Round 3
  • Chris Gutierrez defeats Frankie Edgar by KO (knee) at 2:01 of Round 1
  • Dan Hooker defeats Claudio Puelles by TKO (body kick) at 4:06 of Round 2
  • Renato Moicano defeats Brad Riddell by submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:20 of Round 1
  • Ryan Spann defeats Dominick Reyes by knockout (left hand) at 1:20 of Round 1
  • Erin Blanchfield defeats Molly McCann by submission (kimura) at 3:37 of Round 1
  • Andre Petroski defeats Wellington Turman by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Matt Frevola defeats Ottman Azaitar by KO (left hook) at 2:30 of Round 1
  • Karolina Kowalkiewicz defeats Silvana Gomez Juarez by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Michael Trizano defeats SeungWoo Choi by TKO (punches) at 4:51 of Round 1
  • Montel Jackson defeats Julio Arce by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Carlos Ulberg defeats Nicolae Negumereanu by KO (punches) at 3:44 of Round 1

UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira Main Card 

Main Event: Alex Pereira defeats Israel Adesanya by TKO (punches) at 2:01 of Round 5

Alex Pereira is the new UFC middleweight champion!

Down on the scorecards entering the final round, the challenger pressed forward, looking for the kind of power shot that ended their second kickboxing bout, and with Adesanya pinned on the fence, he found one. The champion was clearly rocked and Pereira swarmed, firing off power shots en masse, leaving Adesanya with nowhere to go and referee Marc Goddard no choice but to stop the fight.

Alex Pereira Post-Fight Interview | UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira
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Alex Pereira Post-Fight Interview | UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira
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Adesanya fought exceptionally well for more than 20 minutes, but Pereira’s power was too much to deal with, proving to be the ultimate difference-maker in this instant classic to close out UFC 281.

In just one year and four appearances inside the Octagon, Pereira has ascended to the top of the middleweight division, ending the impressive reign of “The Last Stylebender” in stunning, come-from-behind fashion. | Official Scorecards

Co-Main Event: Zhang Weili defeats Carla Esparza by submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:05 of Round 2

And new, again.

Zhang Weili is now a two-time UFC strawweight champion after submitting Carla Esparza in the second round of Saturday night’s UFC 281 co-main event. With the victory, the Chinese standout became the third consecutive champion to hold the title twice, joining Esparza and Rose Namajunas.

Zhang Weili Post-Fight Interview | UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira
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Zhang Weili Post-Fight Interview | UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira
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The first round was a frenetic blend of striking and grappling, with each competitor having their moments, including in the areas where their foe was viewed as superior. Early in the second round, a right hand from Zhang seemed to sting Esparza. When the champion shot in for a takedown, “Magnum” sprawled well and quickly advanced to a crucifix position, fishing her arm under the neck, squeezing out a tap.

This was an outstanding performance from the 33-year-old two-time champion, who picks up her second stoppage win of 2022 and moved to 23-3 overall with the win. | Official Scorecards

Dustin Poirier defeats Michael Chandler by submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:00 of Round 3

What a fight! 

Dustin Poirier Post-Fight Interview | UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira
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Dustin Poirier Post-Fight Interview | UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira
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Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler turned in the best round of the year to open their lightweight grudge match in the middle of the main card, with each man landing massive blows and catching them in return over the first five minutes. After Chandler controlled the second following an early takedown, a scramble ensued early in the third where Poirier landed on Chandler’s back, sinking in the rear-naked choke.

This was every bit the amazing, competitive, entertaining scrap everyone was expecting, and these two savages deserve all the praise, respect, and applause possible for leaving everything out there on Saturday night. | Official Scorecards

Chris Gutierrez defeats Frankie Edgar by KO (knee) at 2:01 of Round 1

Chris Gutierrez scored the biggest win of his career on Saturday night, knocking out Frankie Edgar in the first round with a beautifully placed knee.

Frankie Edgar Octagon Interview | UFC 281
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Frankie Edgar Octagon Interview | UFC 281
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Gutierrez was the quicker, sharper man from the outset, stinging Edgar in the early exchanges and picking at him from range, getting his reads. When Edgar stepped in, Gutierrez planted a perfect stepping knee on the button, knocking out the retiring former lightweight champion and future Hall of Fame inductee.

Chris Gutierrez Post-Fight Interview | UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira
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Chris Gutierrez Post-Fight Interview | UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira
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This was a terrific performance for the streaking Gutierrez, who has now won four straight and is unbeaten in his last eight. He’s an ascending name to watch in the bantamweight division, and this is an effort that shouldn’t be diminished because of Edgar’s pending departure. | Official Scorecards

Dan Hooker defeats Claudio Puelles by TKO (body kick) at 4:06 of Round 2

Patient targeting of the midsection proved beneficial for Dan Hooker on Saturday night, as “The Hangman” put an end to Claudio Puelles’ five-fight winning streak in the main card opener.

Dan Hooker Post-Fight Interview | UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira
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Dan Hooker Post-Fight Interview | UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira
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In the opening round, Hooker deftly navigated the leg locks attempts of the Peruvian grappler, taking his time to make the correct moves and counter-moves to avoid becoming the third straight fight to lose by submission to Puelles. In the second, the veteran lightweight picked at him from range and clearly hurt Puelles, recognizing that each kick to the midsection prompted the young hopeful to collapse to the canvas, trying to catch a breather.

Each time, Hooker would call him back to his feet, stick another kick into his guts, and send him back to the ground. The third time it happened, referee Keith Peterson stepped in to halt the action.

The victory puts Hooker back into the win column after a two-fight skid, while Puelles is handed his first loss since his promotional debut at the TUF: Latin American 3 Finale. | Official Scorecards

UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira Prelims 

Renato Moicano defeats Brad Riddell by submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:20 of Round 1

Renato Moicano continues to show he’s a dangerous threat just outside the Top 15 in the loaded lightweight division.

The Brazilian absolutely dominated tough Kiwi Brad Riddell in Saturday’s final prelim, busting him up on the feet in the early stages of the round before initiating a grappling exchange, taking the back, and securing the fight-ending choke. The transition to back mount and cinching in of the hold was ultra-slick from Moicano, who adjusted his grip and sunk the arm under the chin swiftly, leaving Riddell no choice but to tap.

Renato Moicano Post-Fight Interview | UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira
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Renato Moicano Post-Fight Interview | UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira
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Moicano has now won three of his last four, with the only setback coming in a short-notice, five-round fight with former lightweight champ Rafael Dos Anjos. The talented Brazilian was a tenured fighter at featherweight, and now has his sights set on a place in the rankings at lightweight.

A performance like this could very well get him there. | Official Scorecards

Ryan Spann defeats Dominick Reyes by knockout (left hand) at 1:20 of Round 1

Ryan Spann is a problem.

Ryan Spann Post-Fight Interview | UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira
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Ryan Spann Post-Fight Interview | UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira
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“Superman” walked into the Octagon and knocked out Dominick Reyes in violent fashion, hurting him early and then putting him down for good with a clean left hand. The two men came out swinging, and the Fortis MMA man hurt Reyes with every shot that landed.

Spann’s coach Sayif Saud has always said that his charge has the potential to be world champion, and this effort certainly makes that seem possible. Just an incredible effort by the Dana White’s Contender Series graduate, who has now earned consecutive first-round stoppage wins to push his record to 6-2 in the UFC and 20-7 overall. | Official Scorecards

Erin Blanchfield defeats Molly McCann by submission (kimura) at 3:37 of Round 1

Erin Blanchfield ran through Molly McCann on Saturday night, halting the Liverpool native’s run of success with a blistering first-round finish.

Erin Blanchfield Post-Fight Interview | UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira
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Erin Blanchfield Post-Fight Interview | UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira
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The flyweights started out trading shots on the feet, with Blanchfield showing that she was more than capable of standing with the British fan favorite before scooping McCann into the air, depositing her to the canvas, and never letting her back to her feet. After smashing away from a mounted crucifix for more than a minute, Blanchfield started hunting for a kimura, eventually forcing McCann to tap late in the round.

This was a standout performance from the 23-year-old prospect, who is now 4-0 in the UFC, 10-1 in her mixed martial arts career, and looking more and more like a potential title challenger with each appearance. | Official Scorecards

Andre Petroski defeats Wellington Turman by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

It was a battle of attrition between middleweight grapplers Andre Petroski and Wellington Turman to kick off the televised prelims, with the American wrestler ultimately seizing control and securing the victory.

Andre Petroski Post-Fight Interview | UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira
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Andre Petroski Post-Fight Interview | UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira
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The first round was contested primarily on the feet, with neither man getting a considerable advantage. They grappled more in the second, but again, each man had moments of success, sending the fight to the third with the outcome potentially hanging in the balance. Petroski opened up the round sinking in a deep guillotine that Turman managed to escape, but the Philadelphia native was able to settle into top position and maintain control for the remainder of the round.

When the scores were tallied, the judges all saw things the same way, awarding the victory to Petroski with scores of 30-27, 30-27, and 29-28 across the board. With the win, the former Ultimate Fighter contestant advances to 4-0 in the UFC and 9-1 overall. | Official Scorecards

UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira Early Prelims 

Matt Frevola defeats Ottman Azaitar by KO (left hook) at 2:30 of Round 1

Hometown boy Matt Frevola sent the “Steamrolla” section at Madison Square Garden into a frenzy, closing out the early prelims with a thunderous knockout win over Ottman Azaitar.

Matt Frevola Post-Fight Interview | UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira
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Matt Frevola Post-Fight Interview | UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira
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The duo showed each other a great deal of respect early, neither wanting to get caught by the other’s power. But when the two came together looking to trade, it was Frevola that found a home for a gorgeous left hook that spun Azaitar to the canvas.

This was easily the biggest win of the Huntington, New York native’s career and a second straight first-round stoppage victory for the veteran from the Serra-Longo Fight Team. | Official Scorecards

Karolina Kowalkiewicz defeats Silvana Gomez Juarez by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Six years after taking part in the first UFC event at Madison Square Garden, Karolina Kowalkiewicz returned and collected a victory of her own, defeating Silvana Gomez Juarez by unanimous decision.

Karolina Kowalkiewicz Post-Fight Interview | UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira
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Karolina Kowalkiewicz Post-Fight Interview | UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira
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Kowalkiewicz, who suffered her first career setback in a championship bout opposite Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 205, dominated the first with her grappling before getting the better of things on the feet over the final two rounds. While Gomez Juarez had her moments and flashed her power, the Polish veteran had more, salting away the victory by toppling the Argentine in the final minute of the fight.

After suffering through a five-fight losing streak and dropping seven of nine at one point, the former title challenger has now won back-to-back outings. On the other side, Gomez Juarez falls to 1-3 inside the Octagon and 11-5 overall with the loss. | Official Scorecards

Michael Trizano defeats SeungWoo Choi by TKO (punches) at 4:51 of Round 1

Michael Trizano and SeungWoo Choi came out swinging, starting their bout with a double knockdown off mirrored left hooks, and it stayed competitive and chaotic from that point forward until the Ramsey, New Jersey put Choi on the canvas late in the opening round and never let him up.

Michael Trizano Post-Fight Interview | UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira
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Michael Trizano Post-Fight Interview | UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira
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This was an all-action affair where both men threw with nasty intentions, each one scored knockdowns and landed clean, and neither showed any interest in doing anything other than engaging in the pocket. Fireworks were expected and fireworks were delivered by these two featherweights, setting the excitement bar exceptionally high for the rest of the fighters slated to step into the Octagon.

Trizano snaps a two-fight skid with the victory and picks up the 10th win of his career (against three losses), while Choi suffers a third straight setback, falling to 10-6 overall with the defeat. | Official Scorecards

Montel Jackson defeats Julio Arce by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

The bantamweight battle between Montel Jackson and Julio Arce was every bit as competitive as anticipated, with the duo running close to level for the opening two rounds before Jackson controlled the final round en route to earning a unanimous decision win.

For the first 10 minutes, they largely traded blows on the feet, with neither man getting a significant advantage in either frame. But to start the third, Jackson dropped Arce with a clean left hand before controlling him on the canvas for the majority of the frame. While the veteran New Yorker made it back to his feet, he was unable to do enough to swing the round back in his favor. 

Montel Jackson Post-Fight Interview | UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira
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Montel Jackson Post-Fight Interview | UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira
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With the victory, Jackson pushed his winning streak to three and his record to 12-2 overall, taking another step forward in the dynamic bantamweight division, while Arce fell to 18-6 and continued his pattern of alternating wins and losses over his last eight appearances. | Official Scorecards

Carlos Ulberg defeats Nicolae Negumereanu by KO (punches) at 3:44 of Round 1

Carlos Ulberg kicked off the night in spectacular fashion on Saturday, running his winning streak to three with a first-round stoppage win over Nicolae Negumereanu.

Carlos Ulberg Post-Fight Interview | UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira
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Carlos Ulberg Post-Fight Interview | UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira
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The first of four City Kickboxing representatives set to hit the Octagon, Ulberg worked patiently from the outside, ignoring Negumereanu’s calls to engage before opening up with his offence in the second half of the round. As Negumereanu looked to charge forward and close the distance, Ulberg cracked him with a clean left hook that sent him tumbling to the canvas. From there, it was academic.

That’s three straight victories and back-to-back first-round stoppage wins for Ulberg, while Negumereanu’s four-fight winning streak ends in MSG. | Official Scorecards

UFC 281: Adesanya vs Pereira took place live from Madison Square Garden in New York City on November 12, 2022. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards, and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!