Israel Adesanya defended his belt yet again, defeating Jared Cannonier without breaking much of a sweat in the main event of UFC 276.
Whether or not anyone was giving more than a puncher’s chance to Jared Cannonier against Israel Adesanya didn’t seem to matter to “The Killa Gorilla” ahead of UFC 276.
Cannonier was insistent that he had shut out the noise and external distractions, and was focused on one thing: claiming Adesanya’s middleweight title.
Adesanya, the champion, appeared as confident as ever during Fight Week. With a win, he’d likely secure a much bigger fight against the winner of Alex Pereira vs. Sean Strickland earlier in the night.
Adesanya started the fight with a leg kick, then tried to go to the body with a kick but came up short. Cannonier whiffed on a heavy overhand right. Adesanya landed a right uppercut and was in control of the fight in the early going. His jab was landing with ease. Adesanya whipped a head kick a bit too high, but after five minutes, Cannonier was not offering much aside from leg kicks.
The second round started a bit slower than Cannonier preferred, as he landed a leg kick about a minute in. Adesanya answered with two of his own. Cannonier countered a leg kick with a right hand. The leg kicks from Cannonier were coming in heavy. A right hook to the body connected for Adesanya, but Cannonier connected with a big right hand. An eyepoke briefly paused action and Adesanya opened up his striking to close out the round.
Adesany started the third round with a few leg kicks and then really started pumping out the jab. Cannonier tried clinching, but Adesanya simply threw him aside. He tried again a minute later and landed a few hooks in the clinch to do some damage. A jab from Adesanya snapped Cannonier’s head back. Cannonier’s striking was more present in the third round, but he was still struggling to land cleanly. Cannonier clinched up again, but could not get anything off of it. However, it was Cannonier’s best round of the fight up until that point.
The jab of Adesanya was front and center once again. A hard body kick hit Cannonier, who tried charging in but came up empty on a right hook. Cannonier clinched up briefly, but broke away and landed a right hand. Cannonier landed a leg kick and clinched up with Adesanya. Cannonier landed a hook on the exit and needed to put together something special to win the title.
Cannonier fired a right hand over the top to start the final round. A leg kick landed for Adesanya after he dodged a hook from Cannonier. Adesanya popped a few jabs and a kick up the middle. The champion was in control, but at the midway point, Cannonier was able to get another clinch. He tried for a single-leg, but Adesanya defended. The champion hit a solid jab, then ate a combination of hooks. It was another clean
Israel Adesanya def. Jared Cannonier by Unanimous Decision (49-46 x2, 50-45)