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UFC 276: Israel Adesanya shuts out Jared Cannonier but rival Alex Pereira looms large

Israel Adesanya defended his undisputed middleweight crown for the fifth time at UFC 276, but was overshadowed by the performance of his former rival Alex Pereira, who made a strong case to be his next opponent.

Adesanya’s height and reach advantages proved to be difficult for the challenger to assess early, which allowed the champion to be patient and look for openings. Cannonier, who came in on paper with the power advantage, found more success in the championship rounds, but could not score any meaningful damage without a response from Adesanya.

The judges scored it 49-46, 49-46, and 50-45.

Adesanya scored his third consecutive win and fifth title defence but rival Alex Pereira’s TKO of Sean Strickland means he is likely in the mix of the title shot conversation. Intelligently, Adesanya called for Pereira in the post-fight press conference.

Cannonier had a two fight win streak snapped with the loss.

We also saw the recent retirement trend continue, with Donald Cerrone and Jessica Eye hanging them up after their fights.

Robbie Lawler and Bryan Barberena earned Fight of the Night, while Jalin Turner, Julija Stoliarenko and Pereira earned performances of the night. Each fighter earned a $50,000 bonus.

Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the card.

UFC 276 FIGHT PASS PRELIMS

JESSICA-ROSE CLARK VS. JULIJA STOLIARENKO

WINNER: JULIJA STOLIARENKO VIA SUBMISSION (ARMBAR) 

ANDREWS PREDICTION: JESSICA-ROSE CLARK VIA UD

Andrews: Wow! Julija really went after it and got it.

JESSICA EYE VS. MAYCEE BARBER

WINNER: MAYCEE BARBER VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 30-27) 

ANDREWS PREDICTION: MAYCEE BARBER VIA TKO

Andrews: Jessica saw the writing on the wall. It was time to move on. Nice career in the octagon.

#9 URIAH HALL VS. #13 ANDRE MUNIZ

WINNER: ANDRE MUNIZ VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ANDRE MUNIZ VIA SUBMISSION

Andrews: Uriah Hall is a nice guy, but he needs to retire with performances like this.

UFC 276 PRELIMS 

BRAD TAVARES  VS. DRICUS DU PLESSIS

WINNER: DRICUS DU PLESSIS VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: DRICUS DU PLESSIS VIA UD 

Andrews: As expected Tavares was a tough test, but Dricus passed.

JIM MILLER VS. DONALD CERRONE

WINNER: JIM MILLER VIA SUBMISSION (GUILLOTINE CHOKE) R2 1:32

ANDREWS PREDICTION: JIM MILLER VIA TKO 

Andrews: It was clear Cowboy should have retired several fights ago. Amazing career, now go and be a movie star.

Andrews Prediction: Jim Miller via TKO

IAN GARRY VS. GABRIEL GREEN 

WINNER: IAN GARRY VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: IAN GARRY VIA UD

Andrews: Garry is UFC certified.

BRAD RIDDELL VS JALIN TURNER

WINNER: JALIN TURNER VIA SUBMISSION (GULLOTINE CHOKE) R1 0:45

ANDREWS PREDICTION: JALIN TURNER VIA UD

Andrews: Wow! Jalin Turner is likety-split for real.

UFC 276 MAIN CARD

#13 SEAN O’MALLEY VS. #10 PEDRO MUNHOZ

 

WINNER: NO CONTEST (ACCIDENTAL EYE POKE) R2 3:09

ANDREWS PREDICTION: SEAN O’MALLEY VIA TKO

Andrews: Let’s run this one back.

ROBBIE LAWLER VS. BRYAN BARBERENA

WINNER: BRYAN BARBERENA VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R2 4:47

ANDREWS PREDICTION: BRYAN BARBERENA VIA TKO 

Andrews: Wow! Robbie put up a good fight, but again, here’s another guy that needs to retire.

#4 SEAN STRICKLAND VS. ALEX PEREIRA 

WINNER: ALEX PEREIRA VIA KO (PUNCHES) R1 2:36

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ALEX PEREIRA VIA TKO

Andrews: Now, we want to see the big one: Iggy vs. AP.

(C) ALEXANDER VOLKANOVSKI VS. #1 MAX HOLLOWAY

WINNER: ALEXANDER VOLKANOVSKI VIA UD (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ALEXANDER VOLKANOVSKI VIA UD 

Andrews: Even with a broken hand, Alex knew what to do and he did it. Excellent performance. Thank you, Max.

MAIN EVENT

(C) ISRAEL ADESANYA VS. #2 JARED CANNONIER 

WINNER: ISRAEL ADESANYA VIA UD (49-46, 49-46, 50-45)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ISRAEL ADESANYA VIA UD

Andrews: Iggy’s height and reach once again give him the comfortable win to break Drake’s curse. But what about Alex?

The next UFC event is UFC Vegas 58, which is scheduled for Saturday July 9 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos takes on Rafael Fiziev in the main event.

@kenaiandrews

KenaiAndrews
KenaiAndrewshttps://www.mmacrossfire.com
Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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