Ahead of the UFC 276 main event, UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya created quite a stir with an entry inspired by WWE legend The Undertaker. The performance that followed wasn’t quite as enjoyable as Adesanya methodically working his way up to a unanimous victory over Jared Cannonier.
Adesanya’s game plan revolves around working on jabs, feints, and leg kicks. It wasn’t pretty and left the crowd frustrated but it was instrumental in producing a strong striker in Cannonier.
Cannonier attempted a mid-fight adjustment to work from the cage decisiveness. Unfortunately for the opponent, when he was able to grab a snatch, he wasn’t often able to make many attacks after dropping the knees to Adesanya’s thighs.
The battle lacked moments of great action, and instead demonstrated Adesanya’s technical skills and the ability of those skills to negate Cannonier’s brute force approach. Kanonair is often left to reach for counter shots after Adesanya has already hit one or two hits and moves out of range of shots.
Cannonier also occasionally attempted to score a takedown rather than just snatch against the cage, but Adesanya was able to stay afloat throughout the competition, and continue to show the development of his wrestling skills, or at least the ability to wrestle his opponents. With only working out episodes to deliver anything resembling success for Cannonier, this was a good one he tried to come back to often.
By the fourth round, fans began to moderately erupt, booing loudly during Cannonier’s victories or when the two men were standing within striking range without engaging in any fireworks. By the fifth round, many fans began to walk out of the arena.
At the conclusion of the five rounds of action, it was clear that Adesanya had got the decision, but the fans’ good intentions of withdrawing evaporated as loud boos were given after the 49-46, 49-46 and 50-45 scorecards were announced, all in his favour.
After the fight, Adesanya was asked about the next step in his career, having knocked out nearly every 185-pound competitor.
Adesanya called up Alex Pereira, the man with two kickboxing wins over Adesanya, including a brutal killer win, who had knocked out Shaun Strickland earlier on the main card.
“[Our previous fight] It was a mistake on my part,” said Adesanya, addressing Pereira. Like I said at the press conference, next time I put you on skis. You’ll leave like Elsa in Frozen. “
Elsewhere on the card, featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovsky completed a hat-trick with Max Holloway by delivering his best performance to date. Volkanovsky swept the judges’ scorecards after hitting his opponent and opening a nasty wound in his left eye. Volkanovsky, who has a 22-fight winning streak, appears to have his eye on a potential lightweight title shot next.
CBS Sports was with you all the way on Saturday bringing you all the results and highlights from UFC 276 below.
UFC 276 card and results
- Israel Adesanya (c) def. Jared Cannoner by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 50-45)
- By unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
- via TKO first round (punches)
- Brian Barberina defeated. Robbie Lawler via TKO of the second round (punches)
- It ends in any competition because of eye poke
- Galen Turner defeated. Brad Riddle via first round submission (guillotine choke)
- By rendering the second round (guillotine choke)
- Ian Gary Dave. Gabriel Green by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Dricos de Plessis defeated. Brad Tavares by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Andre Muniz Def. Uriah Hall by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Maycee haircut def. Jessica Eye by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Defeated Golega Stoliarenko. Jessica Rose Clark by first round submission (arm bar)