Only two fights have been confirmed for UFC 281 at Madison Square Garden in New York this November, with the main event being one of the most anticipated bouts in the middleweight division. Current UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will take on former kickboxing foe Alex Pereira in the pay-per-view headliner.
Pereira famously beat Adesanya twice during their kickboxing careers, with the most recent victory coming via knockout. The hype for this bout has been building ever since the Brazilian signed for the UFC in 2021 due to their history.
The only other confirmed bout for UFC 281 right now is Erin Blanchfield vs. Molly McCann in the women's flyweight division. Blanchfield is 9-1 as a professional in MMA and hasn't lost in the UFC since joining in 2021. The American has beaten Sarah Alpar, Miranda Maverick and JJ Aldrich in her three UFC bouts and is only 23 years old.
McCann, meanwhile, recently beat Hannah Goldy at UFC London last month, marking Scouser's third win in a row. 'Meatball' is nine years older than her opponent and has had mixed success during her UFC career. McCann has fought nine times in the organization, winning six bouts and losing three.
Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler could be meeting in the UFC lightweight division at UFC 281, with the bout rumored to be on the card. Ariel Helwani has stated that the fight is close to being finalized, which would be a great addition to the event.
Angela Hill has also stated that she would like to fight Karolina Kowalkiewicz at Madison Square Garden. 'Overkill' made the callout after she was successful against Lupita Godinez at UFC Fight Night: Vera vs. Cruz this weekend in San Diego.
Will Paddy 'The Baddy' Pimblett be fighting at UFC 281 alongside Molly McCann?
Paddy Pimblett has stated that he will not be fighting at UFC 281 despite his close friend and teammate Molly McCann taking on Erin Blanchfield in New York. 'The Baddy' hasn't been shy about his reasoning, stating that he will not fight in New York due to taxes.
While speaking to the media at UFC San Diego, Pimblett once again stated that he wouldn't be competing at the New York-based pay-per-view event, but instead would like to fight again this year in Las Vegas at UFC 282:
"I think I'm gonna fight in Vegas, that's what I'm hoping you know what I mean? I've seen that card get slated for December 10."
Watch the full interview below: