Adesanya Sports Impeccable Form Ahead Of UFC 276
Adensaya’s MMA career (22-1) has been one most fighters in the business can only dream about achieving. After going undefeated (with 11 stoppages) in non-UFC promotions, he decided to take his talents to the UFC, where he has been just as impressive.
The Stylebender has built profound real estate within the 185-pound division since joining the big leagues. He has won all 12 of his middleweight bouts, including the one that earned himself the championship belt in October 2019. He has defended his belt four-straight times during his reign as champion, beating off superstar 185ers Robert Whittaker, Marvin Vettori, and Paulo Costa.
The only “flaw” in Adesanya’s otherwise perfectly clean resume was a light heavyweight championship decision loss to then-champion Jan Blachowicz. A victory would’ve made him just the fourth fighter ever to hold two division title belts simultaneously.
Double-champion or not, the Nigeria native has established himself as the clear top dog in the division.
Cannonier’s Weight Transformation Leads Him To Title Shot
Jared Cannonier and his weight have gone through major ups and downs – literally – since joining the UFC. He started his career as a heavyweight – yes, that was 50 pounds ago – where he was 1-1. He then slimmed down to light heavyweight, where he experienced his dog days, going 1-3 in the process.
Fortunately, though, he has been thriving since dropping down to middleweight, posting a 5-1 record and earning his first title opportunity at any weight class.
He enters his first UFC title fight at 38 years old.
Adesanya Faces Another Opponent As Large Favorite, While Cannonier Must Tackle Longest Career Odds
Despite having to defend his belt against an elite puncher with great recent form, Adesanya still receives a ton of respect from oddsmakers. The middleweight champion faces the third-shortest odds of his UFC career, according to BestFightOdds.com.
Those leaning towards Team Cannonier on July 2 should know he faces the longest odds to win a fight of his UFC career, which is understandable given his opponent and the magnitude of the fight. He is 3-3 in UFC fights as the betting underdog.
Fighting Styles To Influence Prop Lines
If you study tape on both fighters and their methods of victory, you’ll get a sense of how the upcoming match may play out, and you can use that knowledge towards which prop bets to wager on.
Adesanya’s success has come from his versatile striking. His superior reach and long kickboxing background have been the main contributors to his 15 wins by KO/TKO out of 22 career fights. The other seven have down to the judges’ scorecards. The champion’s grade-A striking hasn’t been as effective in title bouts, though, with five of his seven title fights being decided on the scorecards – albeit all unanimous.
Cannonier’s history as a meaty heavyweight has helped him develop ferocious, heavy punches. His 15 victories are composed of 10 KO/TKOs, two submissions, and three decisions. His biggest question mark is his ability to withstand the championship rounds, because he’s never experienced them.
The two fighters have combined for just two stoppages by submission in 43 MMA fights, and oddsmakers take that into account when crunching the numbers. Still, I don’t expect the fight to end with a submission.
It’s difficult to know the best way for Cannonier to beat Adesanya, considering their somewhat similar approaches and the fact that the Nigerian has tasted defeat just once. No matter what the American contender decides to do, we can expect him to give it his all because this may be his one and only chance at strapping on a UFC belt.
Co-Main Event: Volkanovski vs. Holloway 3
Volkanovski and Holloway know each other well, but only one can say they’ve enjoyed the other’s company. Volkanovski snatched Holloway’s belt as the betting underdog in 2019, held onto the belt in a rematch in 2020, and now is the favorite to do it again in the matchup’s trilogy.