Alex Pereira stunned Israel Adesanya, and Madison Square Garden, with a dramatic final-round flurry to turn the fight on its head, stop Adesanya and capture the undisputed UFC middleweight title at UFC 281.
The stars of UFC 281 – two champions, challengers, and fan favourites – cut their final pounds ahead of Friday morning's weigh-in. Then it's one more pre-fight showdown at the ceremonials held at Radio City Music Hall.
Champs Israel Adesanya and Carla Esparza join their opponents at the UFC 281 presser; Michael Chandler and Dustin Poirier face off. Zhang Weili and Frankie Edgar train for their next chapters. Izzy and Alex Pereira pose at a landmark.
Champ Carla Esparza and Michael Chandler take in their billboard. Dustin Poirier loosens up in the ring. Molly McCann meets a legend. Zhang Weili crosses paths with Esparza. At media day, champion Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira talk up their main event.
It's fight week in New York City and today marks the "fight before the fight," as the stars of UFC 281 take to the scale for the official early-morning weigh-ins ahead of fight night at Madison Square Garden.
Michael Chandler gets a ride from a friend. Alex Pereira packs for a life-changing week. Champ Carla Esparza enjoys the perks of her job. Champ Israel Adesanya and team push hard. Dustin Poirier, Molly McCann and Zhang Weili check in.
Champ Israel Adesanya takes in some fine art. Alex Pereira sweats in the fresh air. Michael Chandler eyes redemption at MSG and trains with Kamaru Usman. Champ Carla Esparza embraces the process. Zhang Weili lands in NYC.
Champ Israel Adesanya and his UFC 281 teammates get Jersey tough; foe Alex Pereira trains in the Tri-State area as well. Champ Carla Esparza preps to face a powerhouse, Zhang Weili, who simulates fight night in Las Vegas.
Both defending champions left UFC 274 without their titles, but the circumstances around the end of both fighters' title reigns were markedly different.
UFC 275 athletes cut weight, hit the scales and face off: Justin Gaethje aims to win the title after Charles Oliveira misses his mark; champ Rose Namajunas and Carla Esparza clash in a title rematch; Tony Ferguson returns against Michael Chandler.