August 7, 2022

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6:57 PM ET Brett Okamoto Close ESPN Workers Author MMA columnist for ESPN.com Analyst for...

LAS VEGAS — Israel Adesanya had a glance right into a proverbial crystal ball Thursday on the UFC 276 information convention. Behind him on the dais have been Sean Strickland and Alex Pereira, a pair of middleweights on the undercard this weekend.

The winner of that combat will seemingly be subsequent in line for Adesanya’s middleweight title — and “The Final Stylebender” spent extra time going forwards and backwards verbally with Strickland and Pereira than his precise subsequent opponent.

Earlier than Adesanya can open up the door to his subsequent problem, he has to efficiently defend his UFC middleweight title Saturday evening towards Jared Cannonier within the UFC 276 headliner at T-Cell Enviornment. And the hard-hitting Cannonier is just not one to look previous, even when Adesanya is a -490 favourite, per Caesars.

Adesanya is without doubt one of the finest fighters on the planet. ESPN ranks him No. Three on the planet on its pound-for-pound checklist. At middleweight, Adesanya is ranked No. 1 and Cannonier is No. 3.

Adesanya (22-1) is undefeated at 185 kilos, an ideal 11-Zero within the UFC in that weight class. The Nigerian-born New Zealand resident is coming off a unanimous choice win over rival Robert Whittaker at UFC 271 in February. Adesanya, 32, has 4 profitable middleweight title defenses after unifying the belt with Whittaker in 2019. His lone professional MMA loss was up in weight, for the UFC gentle heavyweight title towards Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259 in March 2021.

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Cannonier (15-5) has received two in a row and 5 of his previous six. The Arizona resident is coming off a second-round knockout of Derek Brunson at UFC 271. Cannonier, 38, has completed fights in three totally different weight divisions: heavyweight, gentle heavyweight and middleweight. His solely middleweight loss got here towards Whittaker in 2020.

Within the co-main occasion at UFC 276, Alexander Volkanovski will defend his featherweight title towards former champion Max Holloway in a trilogy bout. Volkanovski and Holloway are among the many finest featherweight fighters in UFC historical past. ESPN has Volkanovski ranked tied for No. Four on the planet pound-for-pound rankings and Holloway is No. 6 on that checklist.

Volkanovski (24-1) has received 11 straight UFC fights and 21 in a row total. The Australia native has three profitable title defenses after profitable the belt from Holloway in 2019. Volkanovski, 33, has overwhelmed Holloway twice, the newest an in depth, break up choice victory at UFC 251 in July 2020.

Holloway (23-6) has received two straight following back-to-back losses to Volkanovski. Holloway, 30, held a model of the UFC featherweight title from 2016 to 2018 with three profitable title defenses.

Additionally on the cardboard, Strickland and Pereira will meet in what is probably going a middleweight title eliminator. Strickland is without doubt one of the most prolific trash talkers within the division, whereas Pereira is 2-Zero towards Adesanya in kickboxing, together with a knockout victory. As well as, former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler takes on Bryan Barberena, and high bantamweight prospect Sean O’Malley takes on veteran Pedro Munhoz in O’Malley’s hardest take a look at so far.

Observe alongside as Brett Okamoto and Marc Raimondi recap the motion in Las Vegas or watch the fights live on ESPN+ PPV.


Combat in progress: Middleweight: Uriah Hall (18-10, 10-Eight UFC, +270) vs. Andre Muniz (22-4, 4-Zero UFC, -340)


UFC 276 outcomes

Ladies’s flyweight: Maycee Barber (11-2, 6-2 UFC) def. Jessica Eye (15-11 1 NC, 5-10 1 NC UFC) by unanimous choice (Watch on ESPN+)

Maycee Barber is as soon as once more an element within the UFC girls’s flyweight division.

The previous high prospect has misplaced some luster from that blue-chipper label in recent times, however she is again on observe now following a unanimous choice (29-28, 29-28, 30-27) win over the previous title challenger Eye.

Afterward, Barber mentioned this was the final combat on her UFC contract and she appears to be like ahead to sitting down with UFC president Dana White and chief enterprise officer Hunter Campbell to debate a brand new deal – and a future title shot.

Eye took off her gloves following the bout and introduced her retirement in her postfight interview with Joe Rogan.

“I believe it is time,” Eye mentioned. “I have been a professional since 2009. I’ve had loads of UFC fights.”

Barber was in a position to preserve the aggressive Eye at bay for all three rounds. Eye’s technique was clear – provoke a clinch and attempt to get Barber to the bottom. Barber was in a position to fend her off with elbows and punches within the clinch, in addition to knees and excessive kicks late within the combat. Eye did get Barber down within the second spherical and spent most of that body in high place, although she did not do a lot injury. Barber landed an enormous elbow within the first spherical that prompted a big hematoma over Eye’s proper eye.

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Barber, 24, has received three straight following a two-fight shedding streak. The Colorado native appears to have discovered a correct house at Group Alpha Male in Sacramento, California, after bouncing round totally different camps. Eye, a 35-year-old Ohio native, has misplaced 4 in a row and 5 straight.


Ladies’s bantamweight: Julija Stoliarenko (10-7-2, 1-Three UFC) def. Jessica-Rose Clark (11-8, 4-Four UFC) by submission (Watch on ESPN+)

Stoliarenko, of Lithuania, earned her first win in 4 makes an attempt contained in the Octagon, as she made fast work of Clark through first-round armbar. The end got here simply 42 seconds into the combat. Stoliarenko is thought for a depraved armbar, and she wasted no time discovering it towards Clark, as she took her down instantly. Clark rapidly tapped, however not quick sufficient. The armbar was utilized so aggressively that Clark’s left elbow seemed to be dislocated earlier than referee Chris Tognoni might intervene.

It is Stoliarenko’s first win since March 2020. Clark 4-Four total within the UFC.


Nonetheless to return:

  • Middleweight championship: Israel Adesanya (c) (22-1, 11-1 UFC, -490) vs. Jared Cannonier (15-5, 8-5 UFC, +370)

  • Males’s featherweight championship: Alexander Volkanovski (c) (24-1, 11-Zero UFC, -210) vs. Max Holloway (23-6, 19-6 UFC, +175)

  • Middleweight: Sean Strickland (25-3, 12-Three UFC, -120) vs. Alex Pereira (5-1, 2-Zero UFC, +100)

  • Welterweight: Robbie Lawler (29-15, 14-9 UFC, -120) vs. Bryan Barberena (17-8, 8-6 UFC, +100)

  • Males’s bantamweight: Pedro Munhoz (19-7 1 NC, 9-7 1 NC UFC, +250) vs. Sean O’Malley (15-1, 7-1 UFC, -310)

  • Light-weight: Brad Riddell (10-2, 4-1 UFC, +125) vs. Jalin Turner (12-5, 5-2 UFC, -150)

  • Welterweight: Jim Miller (34-16, 23-16 UFC, -190) vs. Donald Cerrone (36-16 2 NC, 23-13 1 NC UFC, +160)

  • Welterweight: Ian Garry (9-0, 2-Zero UFC, -175) vs. Gabe Green (11-3, 2-1 UFC, +150)

  • Middleweight: Brad Tavares (19-7, 14-6 UFC, +130) vs. Dricus du Plessis (16-2, 2-Zero UFC, -155)

(c) = defending champion