UFC 276: Adesanya vs. Cannonier took place July 2 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (23-1) put his belt on the line against Jared Cannonier (15-6) in the night’s main event. The fight aired live on ESPN+ pay-per-view.
Catch the video highlights below.
For more on Adesanya vs. Cannonier, check out the live blog by MMA Fighting’s Jed Meshew.
Round 1: Jared is the bigger man, obviously. Izzy looks longer. Both men out in orthodox to start and Izzy setting a long range to start. Cannonier taking the center and cutting the cage cautiously.
Izzy lands a low kick and slips the return shot from Cannonier. Cannonier lands a pair of decent low kicks. Izzy not doing too much. Few feints, few single shots. Cannonier closing the cage, leg kicks, waiting. Izzy lands a 1-2 as Cannonier steps in. Light leg kicks from the challenger. Finding them when Izzy sets his feet.
Izzy landing some kicks of his own and setting the distance he wats for his punches. Crisp jab starting to go to work. Now Izzy getting off some. Feints opening up angles, single shots and a couple of body kicks have come in. He’s on the front foot now.
Izzy lands another couple of kicks. Nothing major but solid points. Cannonier lands a good leg kick of his own. Not sure he’s landed a punch but those kicks are okay. Cannonier ducks under a head kick. Izzy upping the work rate and Cannonier struggling to get inside of the middle distance. Cannonier eats a right hand before the round closes.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Adesanya.
Round 2: Wouldn’t be insane to score Round 1 for Cannonier. He landed many good low kicks and Izzy’s work rate was slow to start.
Izzy holding the center to start here, pressuring, feinting, trying to draw offense to counter off of. Cannonier with a solid jab. Missed head kick for the champ. Cannonier takes the center now and lands a solid right hand to the body.
Izzy is making this a much tighter fight right now, close range. Kick from Izzy takes the leg out momentarily. Just a stumble. Izzy cutting the cage very well and Cannonier having to use big movements to get out from underneath. He does one and now he’s got Izzy up to the fence and lands a body shot.
Cannonier consistently targeting the body. Love that. Izzy backs him up to take the lead for a moment but not for long. Cannonier staying on him. Izzy feinting much more than throwing and Cannonier isn’t biting much anymore. Cannonier changes levels but doesn’t even shoot. Not close to wrestling there.
Izzy on the lead and lands a good body shot but nearly eats a massive right hand from Cannonier. Adesanya not doing enough right now. Nice right hand lands though. Cannonier takes a finger to the eye and we’ve got a break. Cannonier gets a towel briefly but waives off the stop. Herb Dean warns the champ and we’re back at it.
Cannonier fires a big right hand that misses. Izzy taking the lead. Cannonier lands some leg kicks. Short time and Izzy coming forward aggressively now but can’t land anything before the round ends.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Adesanya, 20-18 Adesanya overall.
Round 3: Wouldn’t stun me if Cannonier won both rounds. Adesanya clearly the more sophisticated striker but he’s not truly setting himself apart at the moment. Cannonier’s right eye is a bit swollen though.
Izy comes out with kicks to start the third. He’s got Cannonier on the backfoot and going low, body, high. Nice counter by Cannonier lands. And a solid low kick of his own. Feints and range from both.
Cannonier goes for a clinch but Izzy is wise and nearly lands a knee on the break. He does land a good jab though. Leg kick from the champ. Cannonier lands to the body.
Adesanya is outpointing Cannonier cleanly here, but this is not the KO finish he promised. Cannonier changes levels and forces the clinch. He backs Izzy to the fence and Izzy is defending the takedown but Cannonier lands some left hands in there before Izzy can break.
Cannonier struggling with the range but he’s staying active and Adesanya is playing a lot of defense now. Cannonier missing but getting close. Izzy lands a combo and a head kick that gets blocked. Right hand from Cannonier leads to a clinch. He’s got double unders against the fence, smothering Izzy. Champ trying to dig an underhook but Cannonier holding him and landing some knees. Izzy cannot break the grip. Not doing much but staying busy and the round ends right after Adesanya breaks position and lands a knee.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Cannonier, 29-28 Adesanya overall.
Round 4: I’m gonna be honest, this fight is not the best. Man had a hell of a walkout but he’s turning in a less than delightful main event. Championship rounds might change things.
Good jab from Izzy is the first meaningful shot of the round. And a front kick. Cannonier on the lead now and Adesanya pot shotting as he comes in, but eats a body shot. Nasty kick from the champ. and a jab. The range is keeping Cannonier behind.
Nice right hand from the champ as Cannonier tries to push him off. Cannonier comes in behind a combo and lands the final punch. Back in space, he eats a leg kick, the lands to the body.
Izzy steps in and Cannonier ducks to double unders and forces Izzy to the cage. He gets some chipping shots off with his left hand but Izzy breaks. Izzy leading behind the jab now.
I am astonished by the lack of boo birds for this bout. Some other stuff has happened this round but it’s all the same and it’s mostly miniscule. Cannonier can’t navigate the range, Adesanya hits a kick or a jab, Cannonier grabs a clinch, holds it for a while, they break and we’re back to this. If you’re Cannonier, this might be smart but it’s a very disappointing way to lose your one title fight. And if you’re Adesanya, this is a disappointing performance when you are in the star-making position. Round ends.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Adesanya, 39-37 Adesanya overall.
Round 5: Respect to Cannonier’s corner who told him he was down 3-1 and needed a finish. They are correct. Perhaps he will get reckless here. And he does come out with a big right to start and a lot of bounce. Maybe this can be a fun round.
Izzy feinting, moving away, sticking the jab and a left hand. Cannonier attacks to the body. Izzy lands a low kick. High kick blocked but his jab lands. Cannonier steps in, Izzy pivots off. Good jab.
Any hope for fun Cannonier seems to be gone. He’s mesmerized by the distance. He’s swinging hard but not a lot of them and he’s getting backed off easily. Izzy steps in and Cannonier grabs another clinch. Here we go again.
This clinch is prolonged but nothing is happening and the bos come down. 90 seconds of this forgettable fight left. Izzy seems happy to just sit here and wait out what should be a win. Man not making statements tonight.
Cannonier goes for a single but not even close. Adesanya easily defends and thens pops a nice jab. Cannonier charging in with a minute left and lands a good shot. Clinch. Break. Izzy closing distance with short time and lands a big right hand. Bolo punch. Very aggressive to end the bout. Nothing cool happens though and this mostly awful fight is finally over.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Israel Adesanya, 49-46 Adesanya overall.
Israel Adesanya def. Jared Cannonier by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 50-45) to retain the UFC middleweight title.