UFC 281 -- Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira: Results, fight card, highlights, complete guide (2024)

The latest card in New York City did not disappoint as two titles changed hands

By Brent Brookhouse

2 min read

UFC 281 -- Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira: Results, fight card, highlights, complete guide (2)

There truly is just something special about Madison Square Garden in New York City. The world's most famous arena has played host to some of the most epic events of all time, and Saturday was just the latest chapter in that historic story. UFC 281 gave fights fans all they could ask for with dramatic swings in momentum, thunderous knockouts and slick submissions.

The main event saw a new champion rise as Alex Pereira stunned Israel Adesanya late to earn the middleweight crown. Adesanya was in control of the bout over four rounds, including a late shot at the end of the first that appeared to have the challenger out on his feet. Needing a finish to earn the victory, Pereira delivered just that in the waning moments.

Elsewhere on the card, Zhang Weili regained her crown as women's strawweight champion with a second-round submission of Carla Esparza. Weili dominated the grappling exchanges before locking up the rear-naked choke. Weili, Esparza and Rose Namajunas have now traded the belt among themselves in the last three fights.

Can't get enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the world of combat sports from two of the best in the business.Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news, including instant analysis of UFC 281 at the conclusion of the PPV event below.

And Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler delivered an action-classic before Poirier secured the late submission.

CBS Sports was with you throughout fight week with the latest news, in-depth features and betting advice to consider. Thanks for stopping by and we'll see you at UFC 282 in Las Vegas in December.

UFC 281 fight card, odds

  • Alex Pereira def. Israel Adesanya (c) via fifth-round TKO (punches)
  • Weili Zhang def. Carla Esparza (c)via second-round submission (rear-naked choke)
  • Dustin Poirier def. Michael Chandler via third-round submission (rear-naked choke)
  • Chris Gutierrez def. Frankie Edgar via first-round knockout (knee)
  • Dan Hooker def. Claudio Puelles via second-round knockout (body kick)
  • Renato Moicano def. Brad Riddell via first-round submission (rear naked choke)
  • Ryan Spann def. Dominick Reyes via first-round knockout (punch)
  • Erin Blanchfield def. Molly McCann via first-round submission (kimura)
  • Andre Petroski def. Wellington Turman via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Matt Frevola def. Ottman Azaitar via first-round knockout (punch)
  • Karolina Kowalkiewicz def. Silvana Gomez Juarez via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Michael Trizano def. Choi Seung-woo via first-round TKO (punches)
  • Montel Jackson def. Julio Arce via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Carlos Ulberg def. Nicolae Negumereanu via first-round TKO (punches)

UFC 281 countdown, recap

  • Campbell: The Magic of Madison Square Garden returns among top takeaways
  • Mahjouri: Top fights to make for the stars of UFC 281
  • Staff predictions and expert picks for the main card
  • Morning Kombat: Adesanya says he 'cleared the way' for Pereira
  • Campbell: Poirier, Chandler battle with one last shot at gold on the line
  • Brookhouse: Best bets to consider on the main card
  • Mahjouri:How Edgar inspired many over his legendary career
  • Brookhouse: Three keys to victory for Pereira against Adesanya
  • Mahjouri: Undercard fights to watch in New York City
  • Campbell:Five biggest storylines to follow this week

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UFC 281 -- Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira: Results, fight card, highlights, complete guide (2024)


How did Adesanya lose to Alex? ›

Adesanya lost the middleweight title to Pereira in the fifth round via technical knockout.

Who is the favorite to win Adesanya vs Pereira? ›

Adesanya, 33, has said in interviews that this is his final chance to get a win against the 35-year-old Pereira. The stakes are high for his combat sports legacy. Despite the loss in November, Adesanya is a slight betting favorite (-135) against Pereira (+115) at DraftKings Sportsbook.

How much did Adesanya win? ›

Against Alex Pereira at UFC 281, where he lost the UFC middleweight title, Adesaya earned about $1.79 million, per Total Sportal. Per Total Sportal, Adesanya took home over $3 million in the rematch at UFC 287, while also earning a Performance of the Night bonus.

Who won out of Adesanya? ›

Despite the fight never hitting the ground, Strickland was able to easily coast to victory by simply outworking Adesanya and keeping the champion's back to the cage.

Who is the only person to knock out Adesanya? ›


How many times Alex beat Adesanya? ›

Alex Pereira beat Adesanya three times, twice in kickboxing and twice by knockout.

Who is the richest UFC fighter? ›

Conor McGregor is the highest-earning UFC Fighter of all time. The former two-division champion has raked in $39.3 million from his fights. This doesn't include Pay-Per-View earnings or endorsem*nts. In 2016, 'The NotoriousMMA' held both the Featherweight and Lightweight championship belts.

How rich is Adesanya? ›

As of January 2024, Israel Adesanya's estimated net worth is $6 million, a substantial increase from the previously reported $4 million. Adesanya's primary source of wealth is his career as a professional MMA fighter, including his fight earnings, PPV points, and endorsem*nt deals.

Who is the highest-paid UFC fighter? ›

When it comes to the highest-paid UFC fighter, one name invariably dominates the conversation: Conor McGregor. With career earnings of a whopping $39,300,000, McGregor's combination of charisma, skill, and business acumen has made him a pay-per-view (PPV) magnet.

How many losses does Adesanya have? ›

Israel Adesanya Record: 24-3-0
lossIsrael Adesanya Sean Strickland5
winIsrael Adesanya Alex Pereira2
lossIsrael Adesanya Alex Pereira5
winIsrael Adesanya Jared Cannonier5
13 more rows

Did Adesanya retire? ›

Adesanya, 34, said he is not retiring, but will be healing his body. The two-time former champ fought four title fights in 14 months, a clip that's almost unheard of for a champion in today's UFC.

Who did Jon Jones lose to? ›

During much of his championship reign, Jones has been widely considered to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Never stopped nor outscored during his career, Jones's only professional loss is a controversial disqualification against Matt Hamill; a result disputed by Hamill and UFC president Dana White.

How did Alex Pereira lose his belt? ›

A rematch between Pereira and Adesanya for the UFC Middleweight Championship took place on 8 April 2023, at UFC 287. He lost the bout via knockout in the final minute of round two.

How did Alex Volkanovski lose? ›

After winning the first round, Volkanovski fell to Topuria's punches in the second, where he was knocked out cold against the cage. Topuria had dethroned the longest-reigning champion from the current divisions.

Who knocked out Alex? ›

Relive that Israel Adesanya knockout of Alex Pereira.

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