Israel Adesanya will get the chance to rewrite his personal story when he defends his UFC middleweight title against Brazilian Alex Pereira on November 13 (AEST).
World champion Adesanya announced the sports center that he will face former rival Pereira in a title fight at UFC 281 in Madison Square Garden in New York.
The highly anticipated grudge match pits the two former foes for the first time in mixed martial arts, having fought twice before in kickboxing.
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Adesanya was visibly shocked by the judges’ decision after his first fight with Pereira, with the Brazilian winning by unanimous decision.
The pair got their rematch less than a year later in March 2017, with a left hand knocking out the Nigerian-born fight in the third round.
Although he didn’t feel the need for revenge after losing both fights, Adesanya vowed to “smack that b****” ahead of their reunion at the famous New York venue later this year.
“Have I ever hesitated to fight? I always picked the guy no one wants to fight,” Adesanya said on sports center.
“The guy everyone is running from, I run to him. So I run to the fire and it’s no different.
“After he beat me in Brazil, I never had any intention of trying to get revenge or anything like that because I don’t hold on to things.
“I’m telling you, the universe presented this to me and it’s right there. It’s the perfect alley-oop and I’m gonna smack that bitch”.
Adesanya retained his middleweight crown with a unanimous decision victory over American Jared Cannonier at UFC 276 last month.
The win extended the 33-year-old’s unbeaten streak to three fights, after losing to Polish fighter Jan Blachowicz by unanimous decision in last year’s UFC light heavyweight title fight.
As for his opponent, Pereira is undefeated for three fights so far in the UFC while he is undefeated in his last six MMA bouts.
The Brazilian is coming off a first-round knockout of highly rated Sean Strickland.