UFC 281 is now just hours away. Tonight, at MSG, we’ll see UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya defend versus his kickboxing nemesis Alex Pereira. We’ll also see Carla Esparza defend her strawweight title versus Zhang Weili. And before all that we’ll get a certified banger when Dustin Poirier meets Michael Chandler.
This fight card has stayed intact thanks to everyone making weight (despite a small scare on the part of Pereira). The UFC’s cameras were there behind the scenes to catch what went into getting those competitors to the scales.
In this episode, we see Chandler shedding the last few ounces, while sparring in his hotel room (note Henri Hooft’s t-shirt in that scene). We also see City Kickboxing’s Dan Hooker and Adesanya sweating it out together with their team. As they spar and sit in their portable saunas we see that their choice of TV viewing is long running medical soap Grey’s Anatomy.
After the official weigh-ins we get close-ups of the ceremonial weigh-in staredowns. And boy are they intense. Poirier stares through Chandler’s soul, while the former Bellator champ breaks slightly telling ‘Diamond’ “let’s do it baby!” and flashes a big smile. For Adesanya and Pereira, not a single word is uttered, as both men do their best to mean mug the other.