Israel Adesanya will get the chance to exact revenge on long-time rival Alex Pereira with the duo booked to headline UFC 281 at Madison Square Garden.
The fight is scheduled for November 12 at the famous New York venue with the middleweight title on the line.
Adesanya (23-1) and Pereira (6-1) have never fought an MMA bout previously but twice have squared off in kickboxing, with the Brazilian winning both contests.
Pereira defeated Adesanya by decision in April 2016 before knocking out the Nigerian-born New Zealander in March 2017.
Since then, Adesanya has developed into one of MMA’s best fighters, while Pereira impressed at UFC 276 with a vicious knockout of Sean Strickland.
Adesanya has defended the middleweight on five occasions, with the last coming during a unanimous decision win against Jared Cannonier at UFC 276.
Earlier this month, with a fight between the two in the pipeline, Pereira spoke about the regular trash talk coming from Adesanya, including one specific reference to the move Frozen.
“Sometimes I see [Adesanya] doing cartoon stuff that, to me, doesn’t make any sense, because I don’t even know who Frozen is,” Pereira, who doesn’t speak English, said to MMA Fighting.
“I’m not being arrogant, I’m not being ignorant — I just didn’t even know up until that point who Frozen was. If you’re going to freeze me, I guess it’s related to ice? I don’t know. I wasn’t getting it.
“First, I don’t speak English. And even if I did, the look on my face would be the same, because he said he would make [the Jared Cannonier] fight look easy and he didn’t. Goes there and it’s something else. I don’t [do that]. People already have expectations. I lay low, stay silent. ‘Alex, are you going to knock him out?’ ‘No, I just wanna do a good fight.’ I go there and knock him out and people be like, ‘Damn, awesome.’ People start to see who Alex Pereira is.
“This Frozen stuff, Naruto, Dragon Ball Z — to me, makes no sense whatsoever. People that understand and believe in the cartoon might be influenced, ‘Oh, he’s going to freeze him.’ He’ll freeze me like the cartoon. Is he? But, how? I don’t know how he’s going to freeze me. Is he putting me in the fridge? Is that it? I don’t know how this cartoon works.”