Few UFC fighters can say they've headlined a card after just two fights with the promotion. Israel Adesanya is one of them.

The Nigerian-born Kiwi middleweight travels to Las Vegas this weekend, set to meet Hawaiian Brad Tavares at the finale of the Ultimate Fighter on July 7 (NZT) during the UFC's international fight week.

Adesanya entered the UFC earlier this year, coming in with a lot of hype after starting his professional mixed martial arts career unbeaten in 11 fights, with all 11 wins by knockout.

Now boasting a 13-0-0 record and heading into his first five-round bout with the UFC, nothing changed in the 28-year-old's preparation.

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Israel Adesanya will headline the Ultimate Fighter finale in Las Vegas next week. Photo / Photosport.
Israel Adesanya will headline the Ultimate Fighter finale in Las Vegas next week. Photo / Photosport.

"It's good to see the company sees what I've seen in myself, what I've known about myself - the stock is high, I'm hot on these streets, as they might say," Adesanya said.

"It's just going to be me and another guy in a cage ... whether it's the main event or the first fight of the night, it doesn't really matter - just me and another guy, and I'm going to have to work him."

Tavares (18-5-0) comes into the bout on a four-fight winning streak. In his most recent bout, he claimed his first win by knockout in seven years. Leading into the fight against Adesanya, there had been reports Tavares had withdrawn due to injury.

However, that wasn't the case - not that it mattered to the Kiwi.

"I knew I'm fighting - my tickets were booked, I'm fighting. If it's not Brad, it's someone else. I was ready to jump in any time. I was game."

One night after Adesanya goes to work against Tavares, City Kickboxing gym-mate Dan Hooker steps inside the octagon against Gilbert Burns in a lightweight bout at UFC 226 - also in Las Vegas.

Dan Hooker will fight on one of the biggest UFC cards of the year. Photo / Photosport
Dan Hooker will fight on one of the biggest UFC cards of the year. Photo / Photosport

For Hooker, Burns is an exciting match-up, with the four-time world jujitsu champion having won his last two fights by knockout.

"These are the kind of guys I want to fight. I don't want to fight someone everyone thinks I can beat," Hooker said. "I want a fight that people look at it and think 'oh, Dan's in a bit of trouble here'. These are the fights that get me up. Let's just say Gilbert Burns has my attention."

Hooker (17-7-0) heads into his 10th fight with the UFC since debuting in 2014. Riding a three-fight winning streak, the 28-year-old said next weekend's bouts gave he and Adesanya the chance to campaign for a UFC event in New Zealand.

"They haven't announced the next show in Australia or what, I feel like they're holding off for how me and Israel go," Hooker said.

"I think if we put on dominant performances and get the W, we might be able to drag another UFC show to New Zealand before the end of the year."