UFC 276 Main Event Preview: Israel Adesanya – Jared Cannonier

Tomorrow night in the main event of UFC 276, the middleweight title is on the line and one of the biggest stars in the sport will make the walk to defend. Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (22-1) will seek to collect his fifth ruby as he takes on “The Killa Gorilla” Jared Cannonier (15-5).

For Cannonier, he finally gets the UFC title shot he’s been waiting on. It’s been quite the run for Cannonier in the UFC. Back in 2015, an unbeaten Cannonier made his debut in the heavyweight division.¬†After losing his UFC debut to Shawn Jordan, he won against Cyril Asker and then moved to light heavyweight.

At light heavyweight, he went 2-3 but his three losses came against Glover Teixeira, Jan Blachowicz, and Dominick Reyes. He wasn’t losing to bums. Then he dropped to the UFC’s middleweight division and his career changed forever.

Since dropping to 185, he’s gone 5-1 with the lone loss coming to Robert Whittaker. He’s won back-to-back fights to earn this shot against The Last Stylebender. Cannonier has an insane amount of power, but will it be enough to dethrone Adesanya?

Israel Adesanya brought an incredible kickboxing background and a perfect 11-0 record into the UFC back in 2018. In four years, Adesanya has gone 11-1 and has two wins over Robert Whittaker, two wins over Marvin Vettori, and a highlight reel knockout of Paulo Costa.

His lone loss came at UFC 259 when he moved up to try and become a two-division champion against Jan Blachowicz. Since moving back to middleweight, he’s 2-0 with title defenses over Marvin Vettori and Robert Whittaker.

UFC 276 Prediction

Tomorrow night’s main event is the classic power striker versus technical striker. Cannonier isn’t the cleanest in his technique, but he has ungodly power if he can find your chin. Meanwhile, Stylebender might be the cleanest and most efficient striker in all of the UFC.

For Cannonier, he can’t sit back tomorrow night and watch Izzy. He has to be pressing him the way that Kelvin Gastelum pressured Adesanya when they fought in 2019. Cannonier has to find opportunities to make it a brawl if he wants a chance to win at UFC 276.

If he tries to be too technical, he’s going to get countered all night and be three steps behind. Cannonier has an incredible gas tank, but we’ve seen him get stunned by Robert Whittaker and in his last fight, he was stunned by Derek Brunson.

I keep going through the scenarios in my head, and it’s easy to see why Adesanya is nearly a -400 favorite at UFC 276. I think the champion is going to find Cannonier’s chin with a clean counter as the challenger is coming in and Stylebender is going to get the TKO win. Expect a statement win from the champ.

Prediction: Israel Adesanya by TKO – Round 2

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