One of the most-anticipated mixed martial arts events of the year takes place on Saturday, as UFC 281 plays out at Madison Square Garden.

In the main event, Israel Adesanya defends the middleweight title against Alex Pereira, the fast-rising star who holds two wins over Adesanya from the pair’s kickboxing days.

Adesanya, 33, has only lost once in MMA – while challenging for light heavyweight gold – while Pereira, 35, is 6-1 since debuting in the sport.

In the co-main event, Weili Zhang looks to regain the strawweight title as she faces champion Carla Esparza, after Dustin Poirier takes on Michael Chandler in a highly-anticipated lightweight clash.

Here’s all you need to know.

UFC 281 When is it?

UFC 281 takes place at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Saturday 12 November.

The early prelims will start at 11pm GMT (4pm PT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET), with the prelims following at 1am GMT on Sunday 13 November (6pm PT, 8pm CT, 9pm ET on Saturday). The main card then begins at 3am GMT (8pm PT, 10pm CT, 11pm ET on Saturday).

How can I watch it?

The card will air live on BT Sport in the UK, with the broadcaster’s app and website also streaming the fights.

In the US, ESPN+ will stream the action live, as will the UFC’s Fight Pass.

Odds

Former kickboxing champion Alex Pereira is 6-1 in MMA (Getty Images)
Former kickboxing champion Alex Pereira is 6-1 in MMA (Getty Images)

Adesanya – 4/7; Pereira – 7/5.

Esparza – 13/5; Zhang – 2/7.

Poirier – 8/15; Chandler – 6/4.

Via Betway.

Full card

Main card

Israel Adesanya (C) vs Alex Pereira (middleweight title)

Carla Esparza (C) vs Weili Zhang (women’s strawweight title)

Dustin Poirier vs Michael Chandler (lightweight)

Frankie Edgar vs Chris Gutierrez (bantamweight)

Dan Hooker vs Claudio Puelles (lightweight)

Michael Chandler (left) and Dustin Poirier could produce the fight of the night (Getty Images)
Michael Chandler (left) and Dustin Poirier could produce the fight of the night (Getty Images)

Prelims

Brad Riddell vs Renato Moicano (lightweight)

Erin Blanchfield vs Molly McCann (women’s flyweight)

Dominick Reyes vs Ryan Spann (light heavyweight)

Andre Petroski vs Wellington Turman (middleweight)

Early prelims

Matt Frevola vs Ottman Azaitar (lightweight)

Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs Silvan Gomez Juarez (women’s strawweight)

Michael Trizano vs Seung Woo Choi (featherweight)

Julio Arce vs Montel Jackson (bantamweight)

Carlos Ulberg vs Nicolae Negumereanu (light heavyweight)

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