7 Fights to Watch at UFC 281
In experimenting with different social media platforms to engage readers into MMA content, I want to try and use NotePD to put marquee events and fights on folks' radars. So here are 10 fights to watch at UFC 281.
1. Israel Adesanya (C) vs. Alex Pereira
This main event is interesting because Pereira has 2 wins over Adesanya in kickboxing, one of them being a knockout. So, not only is the title on the line but so is Adesanya's undefeated middleweight record and a chance to avenge the loss that people seem to hang over his head. Pereira has nothing to lose and everything to win.
2. Carla Esparza (C) vs. Zhang Weili
The second title fight on the card and co-main event. Interesting to see where Esparza is at against the former champion. Her last fight against Rose Namajunas was not exactly memorable, but Weili never disappoints in coming ready for a five-round war. It should be a fun one to watch.
3. Dustin Poirier vs. Michael Chandler
The two former champions both have a score to settle with one another and if you were to bet on a "fight of the night" candidate for this card, these two men are likely the front runner. Chances are, someone gets finished in this fight but it's hard to pick who it will be.
4. Frankie Edgar vs. Chris Gutierrez
This is Edgar's last fight on his contract and likely in his career. The guard in MMA has changed so much in 2022 and the Jersey boy is a staple for northeast MMA fans. I hope he can go out on a win at The Garden.
5. Molly McCann vs. Erin Blanchfield
McCann is in the UFC's marketing machine so they are putting her up against another local favorite in Blanchfield. The UFC probably wants McCann to win but Blanchfield's not coming to lose. Blanchfield is another NJ competitor that I've seen take the train into NYC to train at Renzo Gracies academy so there's something poetic about her competing in the arena she's been around on her day-to-day training working her way into the UFC.
6. Matt Frevola vs Ottman Azaitar
Another local favorite, Frevola won his last fight and is looking got keep the streak alive. He'll likely help pack the house with his following but no easy fights ever come to anyone in Madison Square Garden. Azaitar is 13-0 and will be a tough test for the "Steam-rolla", but hopefully, the NYC fans can channel some energy to Frevola to break Azaitar's win streak.
7. Julio Arce vs Montel Jackson
Team Tiger Schulmann never disappoints in the northeast and Arce is one of their staple fighters. Both he and his opponent are coming off of wins so I would say the way the crowd sways might affect the outcome of this fight, and chances are they are Team TSMMA ( Tiger Schulmann MMA).