UFC 287 Draws Pereira-Adesanya Rematch, Burns vs. Masvidal Co-Main
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has built an entire pay-per-view main card without revealing its location.
On Friday, UFC President Dana White – who was caught on video slapping his wife on Dec. 31, 2022 – announced on multiple platforms the main card lineup of UFC 287. The event will go down on April 8, and there is still no official destination on the books although an international UFC social media page wrote Miami, Florida. The main attraction will see Alex Pereira (7-1) put his middleweight belt on the line against ex-champ Israel Adesanya (23-2) in a rematch of their shocking UFC 281 battle.
“Poatan” has been a man possessed since breaking into the UFC in late 2021. It took the Brazilian a mere three wins to get a crack at gold, although it came against former kickboxing rival Adesanya, where Pereira held two victories. In the fifth round, Pereira struck and put Adesanya away, scoring the first stoppage of “The Last Stylebender” in MMA. Pereira’s short record in the sport sits at just seven wins opposite a single defeat that came back in 2015, with six of his triumphs coming by knockout.
Adesanya saw a remarkable 23-fight win streak at middleweight come to a crashing halt from the hands of Pereira. The Nigerian by way of New Zealand first claimed a throne in the UFC by topping Kelvin Gastelum in 2019 for the interim strap. Unifying it by knocking out Robert Whittaker nearly six months later, Adesanya went on to defend the 185-pound throne five more times. In the middle of this run, Adesanya shifted to light heavyweight in an attempt to become a two-division champ, only to get turned away by Jan Blachowicz.
Four more fights round out the rest of the main card, and Pereira-Adesanya will serve as the lone championship bout. The co-headliner comes at welterweight in a bit of grudge match as Gilbert Burns (21-5) squares off with Jorge Masvidal (35-16). The “featured fight” slot goes to youngster Raul Rosas Jr. (7-0) against 25-year-old prospect Christian Rodriguez (8-1) at 135 pounds. Additionally, Kevin Holland (23-9, 1 NC) will battle Santiago Ponzinibbio (29-6) in a veritable must-win slugfest at welterweight, while an early “Fight of the Night” contender opens the pay-per-view offering as Rob Font (19-6) throws down with Adrian Yanez (16-3) in an important bantamweight contest.
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