Adesanya competed against middleweight contender Jared Cannonier at UFC 276 on Sunday morning at the T-mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Since his debut in 2018, ‘The Last Stylebender’ has improved with each appearance in the Octagon and is still undefeated in the middleweight division. In 2019, he won the interim title in the Fight of the Year winner against Kelvin Gastelum.
The following year, ‘Izzy’ defeated Robert Whittaker and unified the titles.
Since then, he has successfully defended his title four times. Adesanya’s only loss on an otherwise perfect record (22-1) came during his unsuccessful transition to light heavyweight, when he was defeated by then-champion Jan Blachowicz.
On Sunday, the New Zealander of Nigerian descent successfully defended his middleweight title for the fifth time.
While Adesanya defeated Robert Whittaker for the second time in February to retain his middleweight title, Cannonier knocked out Derek Brunson in the second round to become the weight’s No. 1 contender.
Cannonier struggled to get a takedown in the final round on Sunday, while Adesanya remained cautious as the crowd became restless.
Cannonier landed a flurry of punches in response to Adesanya’s clean jabs.
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Cannonier, on the other hand, failed to complete a takedown and was defeated by unanimous decision.
Cannonier landed a small right hand early in the round, but Adesanya tagged him with a hard jab in the fourth.
Adesanya followed up with a heavy body kick and a two-punch combo. Adesanya landed another right hand.
He then landed a left, ducked, and spun under Cannonier’s wild shot. Cannonier took another clinch along the cage but did nothing with it before Adesanya escaped and landed a leg kick.
Cannonier clinched up again along the cage as Adesanya landed a few inside punches.
Round three saw Israel Adesanya return to leg kicks before launching a front kick that just missed Cannonier’s face.
Cannonier fired for the first time in the fight, but Adesanya threw him into the cage, easily avoiding the takedown. Cannonier’s sweeping hook sailed wide.
Cannonier fired again, this time landing a right hand.
In his best moment of the fight, he pinned Adesanya against the cage and landed some good shots to the face and body.
Adesanya responded with a hard jab and more leg kicks.
Cannonier connected with left and right hands before Adesanya responded with a four-strike flurry.
Cannonier then drove forward with a clinch to pin Adesanya against the cage.
Adesanya landed a good early jab and continued to use his length to keep Cannonier at bay.
Adesanya then landed to the body after missing a head kick.
Adesanya landed a few hard leg kicks before striking Cannonier in the face with a left hand. As Cannonier’s output decreased, Adesanya began to throw more kicks to the legs and body.
Cannonier’s big counter left hand just missed.
Adesanya began with a flurry of strikes before landing a solid combination that knocked Cannonier out.
Then came an unintentional eye poke by Adesanya, which resulted in a break.
Adesanya resumed his work on the legs with kicks, but Cannonier returned with his own.
Both UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and Jared Cannonier landed leg kicks in the first round without using gloves.
Cannonier’s leg kicks were blocked by Adesanya. The champion avoided a wild, winging overhand right.
Adesanya shifted his stances and twitched, not even fully feinting.
Cannonier’s first leg kick was unsuccessful, while Adesanya landed an early one of his own.
Both men were hesitant at first, but as Cannonier stalked forward, Adesanya landed a few left hands and more leg kicks. After about a minute of action, Cannonier did land a few leg kicks.
Adesanya used a body kick and feints to keep Cannonier on his toes.
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