LAS VEGAS — Israel Adesanya’s entered the octagon with WWE superstar The Undertaker’s theme song, hat and trademark urn. It was entertaining. His successful title defense against Jared Cannonier at UFC 276 wasn’t.
Adesanya retained his middleweight title with a dominant, yet uneventful performance against Cannonier that left fans at T-Mobile Arena unsatisfied. But it’s hard to blame Adesanya for what happened.
— 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐍𝐞𝐰𝐬 (@sportingnews) July 3, 2022
Cannonier was reserved in his approach and tried to find an opening to land with his vaunted power. However, Adesanya’s movement, jabs, and leg kicks kept Cannonier from finding many opportunities to get in much offense. As the rounds progressed, it was clear that a knockout would be the only way Cannonier could win. He didn’t take enough chances and found himself on the wrong end of the decision with scores of 50-45, 49-46, & 49-46.
While the fight wasn’t exciting, it’s likely that Adesanya’s next opponent will bring the battle to his front door.
Earlier in the night, Alex Pereira obliterated Sean Strickland in the first round to seemingly secure his spot as Adesanya’s next opponent. Pereira is known for beating Adesanya twice in kickboxing and will look to beat him for a third time when they meet in the octagon.
In the co-main event, Alexander Volkanovski slammed the door shut on his rivalry with Max Holloway with a clean sweep on the scorecards. He was faster, stronger, and used his much-improved boxing to retain his UFC featherweight title. With a 3-0 series against Holloway, it appears that Volkanovski will target the lightweight division where he will look to become a two-division champion.
Here’s how it all went down:
UFC 276 live results, highlights
Israel Adesanya retains UFC middleweight with uneventful decision against Jared Cannonier
Round Five: Leg kicks, jabs, and a head kick from Adesanya. Cannonier hasn’t done much. He’s just following Adesanya around. Izzy keeps touching him. Another takedown attempt by Cannonier is stuffed and they clinch on the cage. Fans are fed up. Cannonier lands a right hand and a body shot. Then he clinches again. Adesanya looking to close the show even though he’s ahead. Throwing punches and kicks but nothing big lands. The fight is over. Half the arena has already left.
SN Unofficial Scorecard: 10-9 Adesanya (50-45 Adesanya)
Round Four: Adesanya is landing more jabs and leg kicks. It just feels like he’s chipping away at Cannonier and waiting for him to get desperate so he can make a mistake. Body kick and combination by Izzy. Right hand by Adesanya and Cannonier returns fire, but misses badly. Cannonier gets booed as he presses Adesanya on the cage. Izzy gets separation and goes back to chipping. Right hand clips Cannonier’s chin. The crowd is restless and booing in spots. Extended clinching from Cannonier but no significant damage. Fans are waving their cell phones now.
SN Unofficial Scorecard: 10-9 Adesanya (40-36 Adesanya)
Round Three: Front kick barely misses from Izzy. Left hand lands though. Cannonier looking for one big shot. Cannonier tries for a takedown but is shrugged off. Cannonier rushes in and lands a pair of punches. He has Izzy on the cage but Izzy escapes. Big lead left hand from Izzy lands. He’s switching stances to find easier ways to get to Cannonier’s face. Cannonier tosses a right hand but gets countered with a pair of punches. Cannonier pushes Adesanya to the cage again. Not much is happening.
SN Unofficial Scorecard: 10-9 Adesanya (30-27 Adesanya)
Round Two: Izzy is becoming more aggressive with his advances. Leg kick puts Cannonier down briefly. Lead left hand lands from Izzy. Cannonier is out of range and it’s limiting his chances to land. Izzy’s movement is tough to read. The fans are getting restless. Adesanya lands a jab and barely misses a right hand. Head kick from Adesanya. Cannonier is stalking but eats a right hand. Izzy accidentally pokes Cannonier in the eye. We resume the action and Adesanya is picking up the output. Jabs and leg kicks. Cannonier lands one of his own that’s heavy. Left hand and a right from Izzy as the round closes. He’s settling into a groove.
SN Unofficial Scorecard: 10-9 Adesanya (20-18 Adesanya)
Round One: They exchange leg kicks. Adesanya is moving and feinting. Cannonier launches a huge right hand that catches nothing but air. A lot of range finding so far. Izzy is a little busier but nothing substantial is landing. He’s just poking and prodding. A pair of punches and a body kick by Adesanya. Cannonier misses a right hand. More leg kicks from Izzy. Adesanya opening up a little more. Leg kicks continue to land.
SN Unofficial Scorecard: 10-9 Adesanya
12:33 a.m.: Israel Adesanya enters the octagon to The Undertaker’s music complete with the urn and hat. This is incredible. Everything is pro wrestling.
12:24 a.m.: Fans expected drama in the co-main event and no drama in the main event. Volkanovski sucked the drama out of the trilogy and it will be up to Jared Cannonier to do what nobody expects him to and beat Israel Adesanya. Can he pull it off?
Alexander Volkanovski slams door shut on Max Holloway rivalry with dominant unanimous decision
Result: Scores were 50-45, 50-45 & 50-45 in favor of Alexander Volkanovski. A clean sweep for the UFC featherweight champion
Round Five: Max tries for a takedown but gets nothing. Alex goes back to the leg kicks as Holloway looks for a spot to get his offense started. Volkanovski lands a head kick. More leg kicks find their mark for Alex. Holloway with another takedown attempt but it’s stuffed. Volkanovski clinches, releases, and lands a trio of power punches. Holloway’s output has diminished tremendously. Volkanovski leads with a right hand, strafes Holloway with a left hand and exits. The leg kicks are also eating Max up. Holloway is still trying to fight but it’s a lost cause. It’s clear that Volkanovski has dominated Holloway.
SN unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Volkanovski (50-45 Volkanovski)
Round Four: They clinch and Alex rips a pair of right hands into Holloway’s face and body. Holloway is still in the fight but it’s getting away from him in a hurry. Jabs from Volkanovski continue to disrupt Max’s rhythm. They mix it up and Alex closes the trade with a two-punch combination. That damn jab continues to find its home for Volk. head kick by Max barely misses. It’s starting to feel like what Dustin Poirier did to Holloway a few years back.
SN unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Volkanovski (40-36 Volkanovski)
Round Three: Holloway needs to do something in the third. The air is getting sucked out of the building by Volkanovski. Every time that Holloway tries to settle in, Volkanovski jabs him. It’s not a big thing, but it forces Max to reset and think. Holloway with a jab, they exchange briefly. Nothing big lands. Volkanovski crashes three hard punches into Max’s face. They clinch again and jockey for position. Spinning elbow from Volkanovski lands but not flush. Another right and left from Volkanovski that lands on Holloway. He’s starting to run away with this. Holloway lands a knee to the body and a short right but Volkanovski detonates two bombs on Holloway’s head.
SN unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Volkanovski (30-27 Volkanovski)
Round Two: It feels like Max is just starting to warm up. He lands a short left but Volk catches him with a right. Overhand right by Alex lands. The boxing has improved tremendously. They clinch and Volk pushes him to the fence. Volk lands a combination as they separate. Alex sneaks a short right hand in between Holloway’s charge. That was a combo breaker. Alex’s jab is STIFF and finding its home. Volkanovski’s boxing is excellent thus far. Everything is clicking for Volkanovski. He’s just quicker in every aspect and Max’s face is leaking blood.
SN unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Volkanovski (20-18 Volkanovski)
Round One: Max controls the center of the cage. Both are attempting leg kicks. Alex barely misses a big right hand. Short right connects for Volkanovski. Right hand over the top lands and Max gets a little fired up. Volkanovski finding his target with more frequency. Volkanovski is catching Holloway when he tries to enter. He hasn’t given Max time to pause yet as he’s finding his target easier already. Big combination from Volkanovski. Big left hand lights Max up. Short left by Volkanovski lands. Max is struggling to find a place to land. Volkanovski is sharp. Holloway finally lands a big right hand. They mix it up. The crowd heats up with them. Strong round by Volkanovski.
SN unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Volkanovski
11:41 p.m. ET – Holloway and Volkanovski have entered the cage. Holloway is the clear fan favorite here but Volkanovski is unbothered. We’ve had two incredible fights but let’s see how the third chapter ends.
11:27 p.m. ET – The co-main event is up next as Alexander Volkanovski looks to slam the door shut on his rivalry with Max Holloway in the trilogy for Volkanovski’s featherweight title. Both fights were close but Volkanovski won narrowly on the scorecards in highly competitive fights. Can Holloway get his title back and prove that he is still one of the best featherweights of all time?
Alex Pereira needs one round to destroy Sean Strickland
11:23 p.m. ET – Alex Pereira has likely punched his ticket to a middleweight title shot by demolishing Sean Strickland in the first round. Pereira chipped away until he ran a left hook across his opponent’s chin. Strickland hit the deck and was met with a pair of right hands that ended the fight in just over two minutes. A savage beating.
DON’T PLAY WITH THE POWER OF POATAN 🤯
— UFC (@ufc) July 3, 2022
11:13 p.m. ET – Alex Pereira appears to be one win away from getting a title shot against the man he defeated twice in GLORY in Israel Adesanya. But he has to get past a surging Sean Strickland next. The UFC has laid down the storyline and it’ll be up to Strickland to blow them up.
Bryan Barberena stops Robbie Lawler in two-round war
11:00 p.m. ET – We may have our frontrunner for Fight of the Night. Bryan Barberena has stopped Robbie Lawler in the closing seconds of the second round. Both kept throwing hands. A late blitz from Barberena that was started by a short elbow rocked Lawler and had him out on his feet. An incredible fight with a finish that had the fans on their feet. Biggest victory of Barberena’s career.
10:43 p.m. ET – Up next is Bryan Barberena facing former champion Robbie Lawler in a welterweight showdown.
Sean O’Malley and Pedro Munhoz ends in No Decision due to eye poke
10:37 p.m. ET – Welp, O’Malley “stops” Munhoz but definitely not in the way that he wanted as an accidental eye poke in the second round leads to the fight being called off as a No Decision when Munhoz is unable to continue. O’Malley looked sharp and was just starting to pick up steam when the accidental eye poke happened. And these fans are unhappy.
10:18 p.m. ET – We’re kicking off the main card with “The Suga Show” as Sean O’Malley faces his toughest test to date in Pedro Munoz. This will be the true litmus test to see if O’Malley is ready for the top tier of UFC bantamweights. Munoz has lost but only to champions and has never been knocked out. Can O’Malley be the first?
OHHHH MYYYYY @JALINTURNER!!!!!! 😳
— UFC (@ufc) July 3, 2022
9:35 p.m. ET – Jalin Turner vs. Brad Riddell is the last fight of the prelims. Turner hurt Riddell right away with a right. and then landed a guillotine. Turner tapped him out right away. The fight only landed 25 seconds!
— UFC (@ufc) July 3, 2022
9:20 p.m. ET – Big left hand by Miller to open round two. Cerrone and Miller went for leg kicks to the head. Cerrone landed but he tripped. Miller then landed a guillotine. Cerrone taps out and Miller gets his revenge. Miller is now the all-time wins leader in UFC history. Miller wins via submission (1:32 into round two). Cerrone retires following the fight.
Your new all-time wins leader – @JimMiller_155 🏆
— UFC (@ufc) July 3, 2022
9:10 p.m. ET – A battle between two veterans are up next, as Jim Miller faces Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in a rematch from 2014. Miller threw a few solid shots to start things off right away, landing a kick to the side of Cerrone. Cerrone countered with a sequence of shots. Miller countered a kick into a takedown. He started to take control and pounded away at Cerrone. Cerrone ended up on top while Miller tried for an armbar. Both tried submission attempts to end round one.
An action packed round 1 comes to a close 👀
— UFC (@ufc) July 3, 2022
9 p.m. ET – Garry with a low kick to start the second round. Green has solid defense, but Green has been able to land clean shots at certain points. Garry ended up poking Green in the eye, but the fight continued. Green tried to take Garry down, but could only have him by the cage. Garry then dropped him and had him on full mount. Green is back up, which was impressive. Garry with a knee, and a series of combination shots. Green hit a late left before the end of the second. Garry landed a big shot to start round three that dropped Green. Recovering, Green tried to be the aggressor. A knee up the middle by Garry was countered into a punch by Green. Garry ended up winning via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
8:40 p.m. ET – Gabe Green faces Ian Garry up next on the prelims. Garry is considered the next big Irish star in MMA. Green is aggressive right away with kicks. Garry counters with kicks. Huge high kicks by Garry land. Body and face shots by Garry connect, and they sound like they hurt. He is technical and working around Green’s defense. Green is trying to fight inside, but Garry is not having it. Combination shots now land and the crowd didn’t know how to react.
8:25 p.m. ET – du Plessis and Tavares start swinging to open the third. The former has now slowed down as he moves forward with his shots. Tavares lands body shots. Left hand by du Plessis connects, and it is beautiful. Tavares has a chin, as du Plessis continues to unload. It isn’t pretty, but it is effective. Later in the round, Tavares started to fire back. du Plessis had Tavares out by the cage and starting tagging him with shots to end the fight. du Plessis would end up winning a potential Fight of the Night contender via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
What. A. BANGER 👏
— UFC (@ufc) July 3, 2022
8:10 p.m. ET – The prelims for UFC 276 have begun. Brad Tavares will be facing Dricus du Plessis. Tavares caught du Plessis early on in the first with a big shot. du Plessis tried to take Tavares down, but Tavares took advantage. A knee by Tavares connected. du Plessis with a spinning backfist, but Tavares countered with a front kick. Round two has both swinging away, with Tavares coming out on top. du Plessis was hitting loaded shots as he started to get aggressive. Body kick by Tavares, who is bleeding across his face. While du Plessis is landing, he is wild with his shots, forcing him to be out of breath. A left by du Plessis connects before the end of the round.
Andre Muiz beat Uriah Hall via unanimous decision to end the early prelims.
Maycee Barber took the win over Jessica Eye. After losing her fourth fight in a row, “Evil” Eye called it a career.
Congratulations @JessicaEvilEye on a great career 👏
— UFC (@ufc) July 2, 2022
During the early prelims, Julija Stoliarenko landed a quick armbar onto Jessica-Rose Clark.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) July 2, 2022
UFC 276 fight card
- Israel Adesanya (c) def. Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision (49–46, 49–46, 50–45) for the UFC middleweight title
- Alexander Volkanovski (c) def. Max Holloway via unanimous decision (50–45, 50–45, 50–45) for the UFC featherweight title
- Alex Pereira def. Sean Strickland via KO (2:36 into round one)
- Pedro Munhoz vs. Sean O’Malley ended in a No Decision (3:09 into round two)
- Bryan Barberena def. Robbie Lawler via TKO (4:47 into round two)
- Jalin Turner def. Brad Riddell via guillotine choke (0:45 into round one)
- Dricus Du Plessis def. Brad Tavares via unanimous decision (29–28, 29–28, 29–28)
- Ian Garry def. Gabriel Green via unanimous decision (30–27, 30–27, 30–27)
- Jim Miller def. Donald Cerrone via guillotine choke (1:32 into round two)
FIGHT PASS Prelims
- Andre Muniz def. Uriah Hall via unanimous decision (30–27, 30–27, 30–27)
- Maycee Barber def. Jessica Eye via unanimous decision (29–28, 29–28, 30–27)
- Julija Stoliarenko def. Jessica-Rose Clark via armbar (0:42 into round one)
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