For three years, Adesanya — No. 1 at 185 pounds in MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings — has held an iron grip on the middleweight division, defending his title four times and knocking off all the top contenders in the division. But as dominant as he’s looked, Adesanya’s most recent two defenses were rematches and the champion admits to having lackluster performances as a result. Now, he faces “new blood” in the No. 4-ranked Cannonier, a man he called out years ago as a future title challenger, and “The Last Stylebender” is looking to put on a showcase performance as he continues to climb the ranks of the all-time middleweight greats.
Cannonier, meanwhile, hopes to achieve his dream of becoming champion by turning in the best performance of his career. The former heavyweight has been sensational since making his way to the middleweight division, putting together a 5-1 record with four finishes and three Performance of the Night bonuses, but in Adesanya, the hard-hitting striker faces an entirely different kind of opponent.
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