The Saturday Setup: UFC 281

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 11: (L-R) Opponents Israel Adesanya of Nigeria and Alex Pereira of Brazil face off during the UFC 281 ceremonial weigh-in at Radio City Music Hall on November 11, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Ahead of the best UFC fight card of the year, Severe MMA collects all its UFC 281 content for you in one place so you can get fired up for what’s on tap Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship makes its annual November pilgrimage to Madison Square Garden in New York City for a star-studded, action-packed fight card this evening, with UFC 281 bringing two title fights, a lightweight grudge match, and a ton of interesting contests into the Octagon this evening.

Before the first set of fighters make the walk and we work towards Israel Adesanya defending his middleweight title against his kickboxing rival Alex Pereira, tuck into all the event preview content put together this week here at Severe MMA in order to learn what’s on tap, what’s at stake, and what could happen when the leather starts flying.

Fighter to Watch: Claudio Puelles

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 23: (R-L) Claudio Puelles of Peru works for a submission against Clay Guida in a lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on April 23, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

The streaking Peruvian lightweight takes on veteran Dan Hooker in the opening bout of the pay-per-view main card, aiming to extend his winning streak to six and collect the biggest win of his career.

E. Spencer Kyte lays out how we got here, what there is to like about the 25-year-old Puelles, the questions that remain, and why this weekend’s matchup is important as he turns to the spotlight on the emerging “Prince of Peru.”

One Question for Every Fight

Arguably the best fight card of the year from top-to-bottom, ESK runs through the lineup, identifying one piece of each contest that piques his interest.

From the high-stakes championship pairings to the light heavyweight opener between Carlos Ulberg and Nicolae Negumereanu, there are questions to be answered in each matchup, and we’re asking a bunch of them here.

10 Things I Like

What elements of Saturday’s load pay-per-view fight card stand out the most for E. Spencer Kyte?

Check out this week’s edition of 10 Things I Like to find out.

UFC 281 Preview Show

A hot start with a feverish discussion kicks off an outstanding edition of the Preview Show, as Ian O’Neill, Sean Sheehan, Harry Powell, and E. Spencer Kyte tackle the action slated to hit the Octagon on Saturday night.

Severe Picks & Plays

After another weekend of crumbled betting slips, but a positive night on the predictions front, ESK returns looking to forecast who will be victorious at Madison Square Garden and offer some thoughts on how to make a couple quid along the way.

UFC 281 Staff Picks

Find out who the fellas think will get their hand raised on Saturday’s main card.

Will unanimous selections of Zhang Weili and Dan Hooker give everyone at least two victories or will everyone be at risk of a losing evening because things go the other way?

E. Spencer Kyte is a veteran MMA content creator based in Abbotsford, British Columbia. He's written for numerous outlets, including FOX Sports and The Province, British Columbia's leading newspaper, and has been a freelance contributor to the UFC website for more than a decade. Follow him on Twitter: @spencerkyte.