Alex Pereira to Fight UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya at UFC 281

Alex Pereira is taking on a champion…

Israel Adesanya will defend his UFC middleweight title against the 35-year-old Brazilian professional mixed martial artist and former kickboxer, his old rival, in the headliner of UFC 281 on November 12 in New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Alex Pereira

Pereira owns two wins over Adesanya in kickboxing, including one via knockout. ESPN has Adesanya ranked tied for third on its pound-for-pound MMA list. At middleweight, Adesanya is No. 1 and Pereira is No. 7.

Pereira, a former two-division Glory Kickboxing champion, beat Adesanya in kickboxing once by decision in 2016 and then again a year later via knockout.

Adesanya (23-1) is undefeated in his career at middleweight. The Nigerian-born New Zealand resident has won three straight since falling in a light heavyweight title bout to Jan Blachowicz in March 2021. Adesanya, 33, owns five successful title defenses at middleweight, holding the undisputed title since October 2019.

Pereira (6-1) is coming off a first-round knockout of Sean Strickland at UFC 276 last month, the same card in which Adesanya defended his title successfully against Jared Cannonier. The Brazilian slugger has five finishes in six career pro MMA victories since coming over from kickboxing.

Pereira, 35, is 3-0 in the UFC with a pair of $50,000 Performance of the Night bonuses to his name.

Paulo Costa ThisClose to Closing Deal to Fight Jared Cannonier in August

Paulo Costa could be back in the Octagon this summer…

The UFC is close to finalizing a middleweight main event between the 30-year-old Brazilian professional mixed martial artist and Jared Cannonier for a UFC Fight Night in August, according to UFC president Dana White.

Paulo Costa

Contracts haven’t been signed yet, but the 185-pound contest is expected to become official shortly.

The fight will headline UFC Fight Night on August 21 at a location to be determined, according to White.

Costa (13-1) has not fought since he came up short in a title bid against Israel Adesanya in September. The 30-year-old from Brazil was scheduled to face Robert Whittaker last month but was forced to withdraw because of medical issues.

Cannonier (13-5) is coming off a loss to Whittaker in a three-round non-title fight in October. The loss snapped a three-fight winning streak for Cannonier.

The bout figures to have a major impact on the middleweight division.

Adesanya, the current champion, is scheduled to defend his title against Marvin Vettori in June.

Anderson Silva to Fight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in 10-Round Boxing Match

Anderson Silva is taking on a tough competitor in his next bout…

The 45-year-old Brazilian former UFC champion will face former middleweight world champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in a 10-round boxing match on June 19 at Jalisco Stadium in Jalisco, Mexico, according to promoters.

Anderson Silva

Promoter Saul Rios says the fight will take place at 180 pounds. This will be Silva’s third professional boxing match. He suffered a first-round TKO loss to Osmar Luiz Teixeira in 1998 and won a second-round TKO over Julio Cesar De Jesus in 2005. Both earlier fights were held in Brazil.

Silva (34-11, 22 KOs and 4 submissions in MMA) is considered one of the best MMA fighters in history. He owns the longest victory streak in UFC history with 16.

However, after he lost four of his last five fights, including decisions to current middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and Daniel Cormier and KOs to Jared Cannonier and Uriah Hall, the UFC released Silva. He hasn’t fought since October.

“When I look back at my journey, I see that nothing has been in vain,” Silva told TMZ. “I am extremely happy for the opportunity to test my boxing skills with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

“I train continuously, always striving for resilience and to overcome obstacles. Fighting is my everlasting breath.”

Chavez Jr. (52-5-1, 34 KOs) defeated Jeyson Minda in November but is 2-3 in his past five fights, which includes a loss to Canelo Alvarez.

Also on the card, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. will face Hector Camacho Jr., the son of the late Hector “Macho” Camacho, who was the senior Chavez’s archrival.

Yoel Romero Signs New Multi-Fight Deal with Bellator

Yoel Romero is preparing to fight for a new partner…

The 43-year-old Cuban mixed martial artist and former freestyle wrestler, and a multiple-time UFC title challenger, has agreed to a new multi-fight deal with Bellator, according to ESPN.

Yoel Romero

Romero is expected to sign his new deal imminently.

The deal comes less than two weeks after the UFC released Romero after more than seven years in the promotion.

Initially, Bellator officials passed on Romero, but after further talks, the two sides were able to come to an agreement.

Romero is expected to debut at 205 pounds, which is the weight class in which he started his career. His debut fight and date are not set yet.

His most recent fight was a loss to middleweight champion Israel Adesanya via unanimous decision in March. Both Romero and Adesanya received criticism after the fight because it did not live up to expectations.

Romero won a silver medal in freestyle wrestling at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. He made his MMA debut in 2009 and his UFC debut in 2013. He won his first eight fights inside the Octagon before losing an interim middleweight title fight to Robert Whittaker in July 2017. He fought for the interim or undisputed middleweight title four times but never won the UFC belt.

Glover Teixeira Submits Thiago Santos in UFC Fight Night Event

Glover Teixeira continues his winning ways…

The 41-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artist submitted Thiago Santos via rear-naked choke at 1:49 of the third round on Saturday in the main event of UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas.

Glover Teixeira,

Santos rocked Teixeira in the first round and put Teixeira in big trouble to start the third. But Teixeira, as he has done time and time again, persevered and found the finish.

The victory puts Teixeira, six years following his most recent title shot, close to another chance at the 205-pound belt. ESPN had Santos ranked No. 4 and Teixeira No. 6 in the world at light heavyweight coming in.

Dana White, man,” Teixeira said, referring to the UFC president, in his post-fight interview. “Come on, man. I’m an old man. I’m here. You’ve gotta give me a shot. … It’s not easy. Give me that title shot, man. Either way, I’m so happy to be here.”

The UFC’s plan is to have light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz fight middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in a superfight next year. Blachowicz has said he’d prefer to fight in March and Adesanya told ESPN past week that his expectation is that Blachowicz will be his next opponent.

White didn’t back off Blachowicz vs. Adesanya as the plan, but he said he’s listening to Teixeira, too.

“I heard him and I agree with him and I’m taking him serious,” White told the UFC’s Laura Sanko in a backstage interview Saturday. “I’m not gonna doubt him anymore.

“He’s not wrong. … He’s been here forever, he’s on a streak. He looked great tonight. What’s funny is every time I count this guy out and think, ‘I don’t know if he’s got it,’ he proves me wrong. He looked incredible tonight.”

Teixeira (32-7) has won five straight. He lives and trains in Connecticut, and fought longtime former champion Jon Jones for the title way back at UFC 172 in April 2014. Teixeira is 10-4 since then and has been considered one of the best light heavyweights in the world now for the better part of a decade. Teixeira cashed as a +200 underdog.

In UFC light heavyweight history, Teixeira is now tied for second in victories (15) and is first in finishes (12).

Dominick Reyes to Fight for Jon Jones’ Recently Vacated UFC Light Heavyweight Title

Dominick Reyes will be fighting for a title next month…

The 30-year-old Mexican American professional mixed martial artist will face off against Jan Blachowicz for the UFC light heavyweight title vacated by longtime champion Jon Jones.

Dominick Reyes

A bout between Reyes and Blachowicz had already been set for UFC 253 on September 26. But the UFC made it official: the two top contenders will be going for the vacant light heavyweight title.

Reyes (12-1), ranked No. 3 in the world by ESPN among light heavyweight fighters, is coming off a controversial, unanimous-decision loss to Jones at UFC 247 in February. It was a bout many thought the California native should’ve won on the scorecards.

Blachowicz (26-8) has won three straight, the most recent a first-round knockout of Corey Anderson in February. The 37-year-old is ranked No. 4 by ESPN at light heavyweight.

This will mark only the second time that the UFC light heavyweight title will not be in a card’s main event. The first was Daniel Cormier‘s title defense against Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 220 on Jan. 21, 2018.

UFC 253 will be headlined by a middleweight fight between champion Israel Adesanya and challenger Paulo Costa.

Jones had held the light heavyweight belt off and on since 2011 and never lost it in the cage. The champion expressed his intent to move up to heavyweight.

Paulo Costa to Take On Defending Champion Israel Adesanya in UFC Middleweight Title Fight

Paulo Costa is getting his title chance…

Israel Adesanya will defend his middleweight title against the 29-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artiston September 19, according to ESPN.

Paulo Costa

This weekend, Costa tweeted: “The fight is on folks!” News of the fight was first reported by Combate.

The fight, which will take place at UFC 253, doesn’t have a location yet. It probably will take place in either Las Vegas or Abu Dhabi, but the promotion hasn’t finalized those plans just yet because of the coronavirus pandemic, sources said.

Originally, Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje was targeted for September 19. Though no official determination has been made regarding that fight, sources say the current plan is to headline the card with Adesanya vs. Costa and then do Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje for the lightweight title later in the fall.

Adesanya (19-0) successfully defended the middleweight title for the first time in March when he defeated Yoel Romero via unanimous decision. That fight was supposed to be against his bitter rival, Costa, however, Costa was forced out of the fight after suffering a torn left biceps.

Costa (13-0), most recently defeated Romero via unanimous decision in August 2019.

The duo have been entangled in a war of words since before Adesanya won the middleweight title in October.

The fight will mark just the second time in UFC history that two undefeated males fight for an undisputed title. The first time was back in 2008 when champion Rashad Evans defended the light heavyweight title against Lyoto Machida at UFC 98.

Jorge Masvidal Makes History with ‘EA Sports UFC 4’ Cover Appearance

Jorge Masvidal is making history…

The 35-year-old Cuban and Peruvian American mixed martial artist, who lost his fight to Kamaru Usman this weekend, is the first Latino to grace the cover of the mixed martial arts fighting video game EA Sports UFC.

Jorge Masvidal EA Sports UFC 4

Masvidal shares the cover of EA Sports UFC 4 with Israel Adesanya.

“I’m honored to be on the cover,” tweeted Masvidal. “I’m even prouder to be the first #Latino to grace the cover. Es para mi gente. #theresurrection.”

The game will be released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on August 14. There’s no word yet on PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X versions of the game. 

Jorge Masvidal EA Sports UFC 4
Jorge Masvidal EA Sports UFC 4