Last Updated on November 9, 2022 3:54 pm by Erwin Noguera
The UFC makes its stop at one of the most iconic venues in North America, Madison Square Garden, which is located in New York, for UFC 281, where we will have as the main bout the Nigerian Israel Adesanya, defending his title in the middleweight category against Brazilian Alex Pereira, next Saturday, November 12.
The co-main event of the night will be between the American Carla Esparza and the Chinese Zhang Weili, who will be fighting for the featherweight title.
Of the 14 fights that we will have at UFC 281, 5 are part of the main card, while the remaining 9 fights are divided between prelims and early prelims, so it is expected to be an evening full of emotions in each of the fights that are contested.
Below, we will have a preview of each of the fights to be contested at UFC 281, with updates on each fighter, betting odds, and our picks for each of the fights.
UFC Fight Night: Adesanya vs. Pereira – Betting Odds & Free Pick – Info
Saturday, November 12 at 06:15 pm ET at Madison Square Garden, New York.
·Nicolae Negumereanu -102 / Carlos Ulberg -125
·Montel Jackson -222 / Julio Arce +169
·Seungwoo Choi -169 / Michael Trizano +132
·Silvana Juarez -106 / Karolina Kowalkiewicz -119
·Ottman Azaitar -125 / Matt Frevola -102
·Wellington Turman +160 / Andre Petroski -208
·Molly Mccann +309 / Erin Blanchfield -434
·Ryan Spann +170 / Dominick Reyes -222
·Renato Moicano -121 / Brad Riddell -104
·Claudio Puelles +128 / Daniel Hooker -163
·Chris Gutierrez -232 / Edgar Frankie +176
·Michael Chandler +169 / Dustin Poirier -222
·Weili Zhang -370 / Carla Esparza +265
·Alex Pereira +158 / Israel Adesanya -204
Where Can I Watch it?
UFC 281: Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira
Why Bet on Adesanya
The last time we saw Adesanya in the octagon was in July when he earned a decision victory over Jared Cannonier for his fifth title defense.
Thanks to that win, Adesanya was able to put his record at 23-1, where 15 of those 23 wins have come by way of knockout.
Before MMA, Adesanya was a well-known kickboxer who had 80 professional fights on his record. One of his most feared opponents at the time was Brazilian Pereira, who managed to defeat Adesanya twice in 2016-17, the last one being a crushing third-round knockout win.
Why Bet on Pereira
Pereira, meanwhile, is a fighter who, being two years older than Adesanya at 35 years of age, last appeared in the UFC octagon on the same bill Adesanya fought on in July, scoring a first-round knockout over Sean Strickland.
Normally, a fighter who has a 6-1 record as a pro in the UFC would not be considered to fight for the UFC title. Pereira flirted with the sport several times, but his career started barely at the end of 2020, and while 3 UFC wins show that the Brazilian has great skill, it’s not enough on its own.
What lends some legitimacy to his title shot is his past with Adesanya, since, as mentioned, he beat him on a pair of opportunities in 2016 and 2017.
Final Betting Analysis: Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira
Adesanya vs Pereira is one of the biggest rivalries of recent times, as they have a history of confrontations since their days as kickboxing fighters, where the Brazilian always won, even achieving an impressive KO, which to date is the only one that has received “Stylebender”.
Our pick for this fight is a win for Israel Adesanya, the Nigerian’s level of play has changed drastically since 6 or 7 years ago when these two tangled in a kickboxing ring. Also, Adesanya has perfected his defense in recent years, so defending against Pereira doesn’t seem to be a problem for him.
UFC 281: Carla Esparza vs. Zhang Weili
Why Bet on Esparza
Carla Esparza looks to defend the UFC featherweight title against Zhang Weili. The first UFC featherweight champion, Esparza won the title in 2014 (against Rose Namajunas). Esparza then lost the title to Joanna Jedrzejczyk in 2015.
Carla had an 8-3 record and was on a five-fight winning streak when she made her way back to the title when she defeated Namajunas again in May to regain the featherweight division championship belt.
Esparza currently has a record of 20-6, stands 5’1″, and weighs in at the featherweight limit of 115 pounds. “The Cookie Monster” is an orthodox fighter who has a reach of 63″. The American is undefeated since 2019 and is currently riding a six-fight win streak.
Why Bet on Weili
For her part, Zhang Weili made her professional debut in 2013, with a long career in MMA, she decided to join the UFC in 2018, where she managed to defeat Jessica Andrade for the featherweight title. Then, she lost the belt to Namajunas.
Zhang last fought in June, defeating Joanna in a rematch by knockout.
Although she is a predominantly orthodox fighter, Weili often switches to the southpaw position during fights. The Chinese woman’s UFC record is 22 wins and 3 losses.
Final Betting Analysis: Carla Esparza vs. Zhang Weili
Carla Esparza indeed arrives with the firm conviction of defending the title of her category against the Chinese Weili, but, the level that Zhang has shown in the last fights that we have observed has been impressive.
Her ability to change her style in the middle of the fight has helped her to win many very complicated fights and we are sure that in this opportunity something similar will happen.
While it cannot be ruled out that Esparza can make a successful title defense, our pick in this fight is a win for Zhang Weili.
UFC 281: Dustin Poirier vs. Michael Chandler
Why Bet on Poirier
If we talk about Dustin Poirier, we have to highlight that he is an athlete with 28 wins in MMA (7 losses and 1 no result), former UFC interim lightweight champion, and a contender to the undisputed belt of the division twice.
Also, if you want to have another piece of information, we invite you to watch his excellent fights against Justin Gaethje, Max Holloway, Eddie Alvarez, and Conor McGregor to realize that he is one of the best fighters in the world, as well as one of the most entertaining fighters who are not afraid to go to the exchange.
Why Bet on Chandler
On the other hand, we have Michale Chandler who has a record of 23 wins and 7 losses in MMA, which is considered one of the best fighters in the history of Bellator, where he has managed to lift the title three times.
Since his arrival in the UFC, Chandler caused the 155-pound division to have a real earthquake and has achieved many awards for his great performances in the octagon.
Final Betting Analysis: Dustin Poirier vs. Michael Chandler
This duel has many additional ingredients, since, despite the great respect that Poirier had for Chandler when he came to the UFC, in recent years there have been statements by both that put spice to each of the fights.
Both fighters have a very good ground game, but in most cases, they make their fights standing, always looking for a knockout, so our pick is a win for Dustin Poirier.
UFC 281: Frankie Edgar vs. Chris Gutierrez
Why Bet on Edgar
Frankie Edgar, who is popularly known as “The Answer,” is a 41-year-old veteran and very experienced fighter who will be looking to get back to winning ways after losing to Cory Sandhagen and Marlon Vera in February and November 2021 respectively, fights that ended by knockout.
Edgar is a former world champion in the lightweight division in UFC and his long career of almost 16 years as the main MMA promoter has allowed him to win many awards throughout his career. Frankie comes into this bout with a record of 23-10-1.
Why Bet on Gutierrez
Chris Gutierrez, aka “ElGuapo” is also an experienced 31-year-old fighter, who comes into this bout looking for his fourth consecutive win and his eighth fight without a loss as he had a draw in between the two winning streaks.
In UFC he only lost in his debut, now he comes into the fight with a record of 18-3 with 8 knockouts and 1 submission. Chris is coming off knocking out Batgerel Danaa at UFC Columbus, where he earned a Performance of the night bonus. The Guatemalan with Colombian roots, stands out for his strong striking, with 8 wins by KO/TKO.
Final Betting Analysis: Frankie Edgar vs. Chris Gutierrez
This will be the fight that will mark Frankie Edgar’s retirement from the UFC octagon, so he hopes to leave in style with a victory over Chris Gutierrez. But this task will be very complicated against a fighter like Gutierrez who comes in very inspired and with a lot of confidence.
His offensive power makes Gutierrez the big favorite to win this fight, so our pick is a win for Chris Gutierrez.
UFC 281: Dan Hooker vs. Claudio Puelles
Why Bet on Hooker
Dan “The Hangman” Hooker comes into this UFC 281 with a record of 21-12-0. The 32-year-old fighter weighs in at 145 pounds and stands 6’0″. The New Zealander has a 75″ reach and, his height allows him to be very aggressive when attacking his opponents.
Hooker will be looking to get back to winning ways after losing to Islam Makhachev via submission in October 2021 at UFC 267, and in his most recent fight when he returned to the featherweight division and lost to Arnold Allen via knockout in March of this year.
Why Bet on Puelles
On the other hand, Claudio Puelles, who is known as “El Niño” or “Prince of Peru”, is 26 years old and comes with the firm conviction of looking for his sixth consecutive victory, after defeating Felipe Silva, Marcos Mariano, Jordan Leavitt, Chris Gruetzemacher and the experienced Clay Guida.
Puelles has a record of 12-2, where he has 2 knockouts and 7 submissions. The Peruvian is a kickboxer with many skills and, above all, a takedown artist, but he excels in grappling and leg tangles, which are largely responsible for his seven submission victories.
Final Betting Analysis: Dan Hooker vs. Claudio Puelles
Puelles is known for surprising his opponents in fights. He makes them think they are winning and in control of the fight, only for “ElNiño” to suddenly reverse himself and catch them off guard.
However, Puelles has to find a way to take Hooker down and send him to the ground. If he can get an early takedown, the problem would be solved, but it doesn’t seem likely to be that easy.
Likewise, it doesn’t look like an easy task for Puelles because of the great potential Hooker has in stand-up fights, which is why our pick is a win for Dan Hooker.
UFC 281: Brad Riddell vs. Renato Moicano
Why Bet on Riddell
Brad “Quake” Riddell looks to add another win to his current 10-3-0 record. The 31-year-old fighter registers at 155 pounds, stands 5’7 “, and is an orthodox wrestler who has a reach of 71”.
If we focus on the wrestling category, Brad Riddell is the better wrestler as he gets a takedown 1.85 times every 15 minutes. Riddell takes his opponents to the canvas on 37% of his attempts and stops 62% of the takedowns his opponent’s attempts.
In his last fight, Brad Riddell lost to Jalin Turner after a guillotine choke in the same first round.
Why Bet on Moicano
Renato Moicano is slightly smaller in stature than Riddell at 5’11” and also weighs 155 pounds. Moicano like Riddell is an orthodox fighter and comes into this fight with a record of 16-5-1.
In Renato Moicano’s last fight, he faced Rafael Dos Anjos and ended up losing by unanimous decision after 5 rounds.
Final Betting Analysis: Brad Riddel vs. Renato Moicano
This is undoubtedly one of the most evenly-matched fights of UFC 281, both fighters are eager to get back to winning ways and, we expect a fight full of emotions and, above all, that it will be on the canvas.
While either fighter could take the win, our pick is a decisive victory for Renato Moicano.
UFC 281: Ryan Spann vs. Dominick Reyes
Why Bet on Spann
Ryan Spann is an inch taller than Reyes at 6’5″ and has a reach of 81.5″, making it one of the longest reaches in the UFC. The last time he was in the octagon was against Ion Cutelaba at UFC Vegas 54, where he won the fight by submission due to a guillotine choke in the first round.
Ryan Spann has a record of 6-2 in the UFC and 20-7 in MMA.
Spann will make his ninth appearance in the promotion at UFC 281 and is currently ranked #12 in the UFC light heavyweight rankings.
Why Bet on Reyes
Dominick Reyes is currently the #7 ranked fighter in the UFC light heavyweight division. Reyes comes into the bout on a three-fight losing streak, which gives him an added ingredient to this bout, as, he will be doing his best to get back to winning ways to climb further up the rankings.
Dominick Reyes is 6’4″ and has a reach of 77″. His last fight was against current champion Jiří Procházka at UFC Vegas 25, where he lost the fight by knockout due to a spinning back elbow in the second round.
Final Betting Analysis: Ryan Spann vs. Dominick Reyes
If we compare the professional careers of both fighters, we can point out that Spann has had more fights than Reyes in the octagon, but the latter has been in the UFC longer.
In addition, Spann comes from a great victory in the last fight, while Reyes comes with 3 consecutive defeats, but, despite this, Reyes is the favorite to take the victory and, that is why our prediction is a victory for Dominick Reyes.
UFC 281: Molly McCann vs. Erin Blanchfield
Why Bet on McCann
The experienced Molly “Meatball” McCann comes into this UFC with the firm conviction to make her experience count and pick up a big win. McCann stands at 5’4″ and weighs 125 pounds like her opponent. The veteran Meatball is looking for her 14th win as a pro to improve her current record to 13-4-0.
In Molly McCann’s last octagon appearance, she picked up an excellent win over Hannah Goldy, thanks to a spinning elbow to the head in the first round.
Why Bet on Blanchfield
Erin “Cold Blooded” Blanchfield steps into the octagon at this UFC 281 with a record of 9-1-0. The 23-year-old weighs in at 125 pounds and stands at 5’4″ and has a reach of 66″. Since Blanchfield made her pro debut in September 2021, she has maintained a spectacular record in the UFC with 3 wins. She is currently riding an excellent six-fight win streak and his pro record stands at 9-1.
Blanchfield’s last fight was at UFC Fight Night 207, where she defeated J.J.Aldrich by submission in the second round.
Final Betting Analysis: Molly McCann vs. Erin Blanchfield
While many would bet on McCann’s experience in this one, the younger Blanchfield comes into this fight with a lot of confidence after racking up a lot of wins in her last few fights.
While Blanchfield is not known for submission or knockout victories, her young age allows her to have much more agility and, more importantly, more stamina in fights.
That’s why our pick is a win for ErinBlanchfield.
UFC 281: Andre Petroski vs. Wellington Turman
Why Bet on Petroski
The Ultimate Fighter season 29 contestant, American Andre Petroski, comes into this bout on a mission to continue proving that he is one of the best in his division.
After his time on the iconic reality show, Andre Petroski won his three fights in the octagon. In his last fight, he shocked and submitted Nick Maximov at UFC on ESPN 36. Now, he will look to pick up his second win of 2022.
Andre Petroski enters the octagon with a record of 8-2-0. The 31-year-old fighter weighs in at 185 pounds, stands 6’0″, and has a reach of 73″.
Why Bet on Turman
Wellington “The Prodigy” Turman, meanwhile, stands 6’0″ and weighs 185 pounds. Turman comes into this bout with a pro record of 18 wins and 5 losses.
Wellington Turman fought Misha Cirkunov in his last fight at UFC Vegas 49 and was able to get a win via arm bar from the bottom guard in the 2nd round.
Turman is known for sparring with Glover Teixeira and Alex Pereira. After a complex phase and settling in the United States, the Brazilian managed to find stability and is on a two-fight winning streak.
Final Betting Analysis: Andre Petroski vs. Wellington Turman
Much is expected from this fight, everything points to Andre Petroski coming out victorious, but he must avoid Turman’s lightning offensives during the 3 rounds.
If he succeeds, he will likely take the victory, that is why our selection is a victory for Andre Petroski.
UFC 281: Ottman Azaitar vs. Matt Frevola
Why Bet on Azaitar
Ottman Azaitar may have lost the best years of his career because of his stupid violation of COVID protocols early last year. The UFC brutally blocked him before bringing him back, but the damage to his reputation at this point is permanent. Azaitar is considered a spectacular fighter with a lot of potential, but he has chosen to go against the wall to seek an immediate end so far in his UFC career.
Ottman “Bulldozer” Azaitar is 5’8″ and 155 pounds and comes into this fight with an excellent pro record of 13-0-0.
Azaitar’s last fight was against Khama Worthy, where he earned a knockout victory with a punch to the head.
Why Bet on Frevola
Matt “The SteamRolla” Frevola is looking to add a win to his professional record which currently stands at 9-3-1. The 32-year-old fighter weighs 155 pounds, stands 5’9″, and has a reach of 71″.
In his last octagon appearance, Matt Frevola fought Genaro Valdez and ended up taking home the victory with a punch to the head in round 1 himself.
Final Betting Analysis: Ottman Azaitar vs. Matt Frevola
However, unlike Azaitar, Frevola’s aggression tends to go towards looking for takedowns to take the fight to the ground.
That said, our pick is a Matt Frevola win.
UFC 281: Silvana Juarez vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
Why Bet on Juarez
After losing her first two fights in the UFC octagon, Silvana Juarez rebounded and knocked out Na Liang at UFC 275. In addition to the win, she also picked up one of the Performances of The Night bonuses.
Silvana “La Malvada” Juarez became known for her time on the international circuit and for her strong fists, with 7 wins by KO/TKO.
Silvana stands at 5’3″ and weighs 115 pounds, as well as her reach, reaches 65″. During her professional career, Juarez has a record of 11-4-0.
Why Bet on Kowalkiewicz
Kowalkiewicz, meanwhile, is coming off a submission of Felice Herrig at UFCVegas 56, thanks to a rear-naked choke in round 2. The win ended a streak of five consecutive losses she had been on.
Now, the former belt challenger will look to start a new winning streak to get some peace of mind after a complex phase, where her level was not where she would have wanted it to be.
The veteran Kowalkiewicz, who heads into this bout at 37 years old, stands 5’3″, weighs 115 pounds, and has a reach of 64″.
Final Betting Analysis: Silvana Juarez vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
This fight is expected to be a stand-up fight for virtually the entire time, with both fighters trying to find a knockout to help them get the win.
For this fight, our pick is a win for Karolina Kowalkiewicz.
UFC 281: Seungwoo Choi vs. Michael Triziano
Why Bet on Choi
It doesn’t seem that long ago that Seung Woo Choi looked like one of the top featherweight prospects. Now, he’s most likely fighting for his UFC job. SeungWoo “Sting” Choi stands 6’0″ and weighs 145 pounds. His pro record is 10-5-0 and he has a 74″ reach.
In SeungWoo Choi’s last fight, he was unable to defeat Josh Culibao and was defeated by a split decision after 3 rounds.
Why Bet on Triziano
TUF winner Michael Triziano, on the other hand, has been chasing bonuses in his recent fights instead of mixing things up and going for the wins, focusing almost entirely on providing an amazing fight.
He earned a Fight of The Night bonus in his last appearance, but is also on a two-fight losing streak, as is Choi.
In his last fight, Michael Trizano was knocked out by Lucas Almeida after several punches to the head in the third round.
Final Betting Analysis: Seungwoo Choi vs. Michael Triziano
There are many points to observe in this fight, the first is that neither of the two is characterized by fighting on the ground, so, we expect a stand-up battle. Also, Triziano seems to be not quite ready for a fight like this.
That is why our pick for this fight is a win for Seungwoo Choi.
UFC 281: Montel Jackson vs. Julio Arce
Why Bet on Jackson
People still tend to think of Montel Jackson as a young prospect, but he is now 4 years away from his DWCS appearance and he is 30 years old. The first thing we can point out about him is his impressive punching power, but his wrestling may be his biggest strength.
Jackson is in a slightly better situation than his opponent. The fighter who won his Contender Series contract is on a two-fight winning streak. In his last fight, he defeated JP Buys by unanimous decision at UFC Vegas 37.
Why Bet on Arce
Arce, meanwhile, will be looking to start a new winning streak. Julio is coming off a unanimous decision win over Daniel Santos at UFC 273. Before that fight, he was knocked out by Yadong Song at UFC Vegas 42.
The Colombian is not very popular for taking his fights to the canvas, if we look at his stats, we notice that he manages to take his opponent down only 0.42 times every 3 rounds.
Arce comes into this bout with a record of 18-5-0 and, with his excellent southpaw, is looking to add another win to his record.
Final Betting Analysis: Montel Jackson vs. Julio Arce
A very powerful fight is expected between Jackson and Arce, but, as the bookmakers indicate, our pick for this bout is a win for Montel Jackson.
UFC 281: Nicolae Negumereanu vs. Carlos Ulberg
Why Bet on Negumereanu
Despite a four-fight winning streak, Negumereanu is also a very inconsistent fighter inside the octagon who focuses on game plan and strategy.
The main factor Negumereanu will use in this fight specifically is his clinch wrestling. Early in his career, Negumereanu used the clinch to give himself a breather after a wild combination. But recently, he also began using the clinch as a method of attack.
Still, with a record of 13-1-0, he comes in with plenty of confidence to take the win.
Why Bet on Ulberg
Ulberg’s style, at times, is very impressive. He, like many of his New Zealand teammates, comes from kickboxing and has a tall, confident stance, high chin, and low hands. He tends to throw punches with a lot of speed and ferocity. Ulberg is a former rugby player who transitioned to kickboxing and then to MMA.
Ultimately, Ulberg is still inexperienced and fights like one, despite coming in with a 7-1-0 record.
Final Betting Analysis: Nicolae Negumereanu vs. Carlos Ulberg
With his power and clinch wrestling, Negumereanu has more paths to victory. But Ulberg is more dangerous and has the charm of unknown progress every time he enters the cage.
That’s why our pick is a win for Nicolae Negumereanu via knockout in round 3.