Alex Pereira dramatically avoids issue

NEW YORK – MMA Junkie was on stage and reporting from Friday’s official UFC 281 fighter weigh-ins, where two fighters missed their marks.

In the main event, middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (23-1 MMA, 12-1 UFC) takes on challenger and former kickboxing opponent Alex Pereira (6-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC). Adesanya was among the initial burst of fighters to weigh in, but Pereira needed until the final minutes of the two-hour window. With five minutes left, Pereira made weight inside the weigh-in box UFC fighters use to strip down for some extra help on the scale.

Women’s strawweight chcamp Carla Esparza (19-6 MMA, 10-4 UFC) and former titleholder Zhang Weili (22-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC), who meet in the co-feature made weight without issue. In addition, Michael Chandler (23-7 MMA, 2-2 UFC), and Dustin Poirier (28-7 MMA, 20-6 UFC) successfully hit their marks ahead of a key lightweight fight.

Preliminary card fighters Mike Trizano (9-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) and Ryan Spann (20-7 MMA, 6-2 UFC) missed weight, however. Their fights against Seung Woo Choi (10-5 MMA, 3-4 UFC) and Dominick Reyes (12-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC), respectively, will proceed. Trizano and Spann each will forfeit 20 percent of their purses to their opponents.

Former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar (24-10-1 MMA, 18-10-1 UFC), who fights in what likely will be his retirement fight at banamweight against Chris Gutierrez (18-3-2 MMA, 6-1-1 UFC ), made weight again, which made it 30-for-30 in his UFC tenure.

The early weigh-ins took place at the UFC host hotel in New York and precede the ceremonial weigh-ins for the fans, which take place at 4 pm ET at Radio City Music Hall in New York. The nearby Madison Square Garden hosts Saturday’s event, which has a main card on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPNews and early prelims on ESPN+.

The full UFC 281 weigh-in results included:

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)

  • Champ Israel Adesanya (185) vs. Alex Pereira (184.6) – for middleweight title
  • Champ Carla Esparza (114.8) vs. Zhang Weili (114.8) – for women’s strawweight title
  • Michael Chandler (155.8) vs. Dustin Poirier (156)
  • Frankie Edgar (135.6) vs. Chris Gutierrez (136)
  • Dan Hooker (155.8) vs. Claudio Puelles (155.2)

PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPNews/ESPN+, 8 p.m. ET)

  • Renato Moicano (155.8) vs. Brad Riddell (155.6)
  • Dominick Reyes (205.4) vs. Ryan Spann (206.6)*
  • Erin Blanchfield (125) vs. Molly McCann (125.4)
  • Andre Petroski (185.8) vs. Wellington Turman (185.2)

PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPNews/ESPN+, 6 p.m. ET)

  • Ottman Azaitar (155.6) vs. Matt Frevola (154.8)
  • Silvana Gomez Juarez (115.6) vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (115.6)
  • Seungwoo Choi (145.6) vs. Michael Trizano (147.6)**
  • Julio Arce (135.8) vs. Montel Jackson (135.8)
  • Nicolae Negumereanu (206) vs. Carlos Ulberg (205.2)

*Spann missed weight by 0.6 pounds and will be fined 20 percent of his fight purse.
**Trizano missed weight by 1.6 pounds and will be fined 20 percent of his fight purse.

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