Israel Adesanya is determined to make his fourth meeting with Alex Pereira the final one as the two fighters prepare for the main event at UFC 287 on Saturday. Adesanya has the opportunity to reclaim the UFC middleweight title that he was stripped of by Pereira in November, as well as secure his first victory over Pereira in their ongoing kickboxing rivalry.
Speaking after the ceremonial weigh-ins, Adesanya described the rematch as “everything” and stressed that it would be a one-off. Pereira, who is known for his stoicism, made a rare outburst by mocking Adesanya’s dog collar, but kept his message brief, promising to “take him out like a dog” in the Octagon.
The co-main event between Jorge Masvidal and Gilbert Burns is shaping up to be equally intense. Masvidal, who hails from Miami, has been in high spirits all week and has promised his hometown fans a celebratory party after he defeats Burns.
Masvidal challenged his supporters to gather in the streets with pots and pans and “mob out,” while also predicting a knockout victory over his opponent. In contrast, Burns faced a chorus of boos when he took the stage, but took them in stride, gleefully welcoming the hostility and promising to “kill your boy” when they meet in the Octagon.
Despite the fiery rhetoric, both pairs of fighters showed respect and sportsmanship during their faceoffs at the weigh-ins, with no physical altercations or other incidents. Fans and analysts alike are eagerly anticipating the fights, which promise to be explosive and dramatic.