The main event of UFC 276 will see Israel Adesanya defend his middleweight belt for the fifth time when he faces No. 2 contender Jared Cannonier on Saturday in Las Vegas.
UFC 276 is capped off by the second championship fight of the night as Israel Adesanya puts his middleweight belt on the line against No. 2 contender Jared Cannonier. It’s back to business for Adesanya, who will defend his middleweight belt for the fifth time on Saturday night in Las Vegas. Cannonier is looking to claim the championship in his sixth middleweight fight after dropping down from heavyweight in 2018.
Israel Adesanya UFC 276 Odds
Adesanya’s (22-1 MMA record) brief foray into the light heavyweight division didn’t go as planned, but he’s returned to dominance since failing to become a dual champion. He debuted in the UFC in 2018, winning his first nine fights, including the middleweight championship. Adesanya then faced Jan Blachowicz for the light heavyweight championship, losing by unanimous decision.
Heading back to middleweight, Adesanya’s last two fights were a return to dominance with unanimous decision victories over Marvin Vettori last June and Robert Whittaker in February. Those were his sixth and seventh career victories by decision. He also has 15 wins by KO/TKO and has never won by submission.
“The Last Stylebender” is a pure striker who tends to start fights with long jabs and kicks to find a rhythm. He actually has fairly similar striking statistics to Cannonier, but it’s his feints, footwork and counter-strikes that set him apart. He averages 3.84 significant strikes landed per minute on 49 per cent accuracy with 61 per cent defence. Cannonier averages 3.76 strikes on 50 per cent accuracy and 63 per cent defence.
Adesanya will likely start this fight at a safe range to feel out his opponent. The 32-year-old constantly switches stances on his front foot and despite his flashiness, he’s a very technical striker. He’s as comfortable pressuring as he is countering, so the first-round could be a feeling out process for both fighters. If this turns into a boxing match, give the edge to Adesanya.
Jared Cannonier UFC 276 Odds
Cannonier (15-5 MMA record) punched his ticket to a title fight with brutal second-round KO (elbow) win over Derek Brunson at UFC 271 in February. The win also earned him a Performance of the Night bonus. It was his fifth bonus since debuting in the UFC in 2015. He’s flipped back-and-forth a couple of times between middleweight and light heavyweight, but the 185-pound division is where he is most comfortable and he’s racked up notable wins over fighters like Brunson, Kelvin Gastelum and Anderson Silva.
Cannonier has a little more diversity in his methods of victory. He has 10 career wins by KO/TKO, three by decision and two by submission. Most of the wins by decision and submission came earlier in his career as five of his last six victories came via KO/TKO.
“Tha Killa Gorilla” possesses a dangerous combination of power, speed and patience. He likes to work off low leg kicks and he’s capable of quickly switching his stance to get to the outside of his opponent’s leg. Cannonier has a power jab and cross, although his tendency to pick his shots one at a time could be detrimental against a fighter like Adesanya.
The 38-year-old is traditionally a cautious and methodical starter like his opponent, so again, the first-round could be more of a feeling out process. Expect Cannonier to search for leg kicks early. With his range and power, he’ll likely focus on the outside game and look for an opportunity to unload a powerful knockout shot. If he can get Adesanya against the fence and punish the champ, his physical strength could be davastating.
UFC 276 Prediction: Israel Adesanya vs. Jared Cannonier
At 38-years-old, Cannonier has finally earned his first UFC title shot and he deserves it. Cannonier will be Adesanya’s toughest middleweight opponent in years and he has a real chance to claim the belt. For my money, however, I’m still backing the champ. Adesanya is a more technical striker and his 2.5-inch reach advantage could be the difference-maker. Adesanya wins by unanimous decision.