UFC 276 headline act sees undisputed king of the middleweights Israel Adesanya defend his belt for a fifth time against a wrecking ball force with knockouts across three weight classes in Jared Cannonier at the T-Mobile Arena Las Vegas.
Before the main event, a featherweight championship trilogy fight for legacy takes place as the greatest ever Australian mixed martial artists, Alexander Volkanovski defends his belt against arguably the greatest ever featherweight fighter, Max “Blessed” Holloway.
This Pay Per View event is stacked all the way through, with names like Sean O’Malley, Robbie Lawler, Donald Cerrone, Uriah Hall, and South Africa’s finest, Dricus Du Plessis. You do not want to miss this one.
All times and odds are provided below.
Sunday 3 July
Betting supplied by Hollywoodbets
Main Event – Israel Adesanya 1/5 vs Jared Cannonier 3/1 (Middleweight)
UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, born in Lagos Nigeria raised in Auckland New Zealand is pitted against Pheonix Arizona’s rising son and number one contender Jared Cannonier. Eccentric inside and outside the ring you know what to expect from Adesanya while simultaneously being shocked by speed, movement, and accumulative power.
Cannonier, or more excitingly known as The Killa Gorriller, is raw power coupled with precise shots. It’s a matchup that could be decided in unique fashion at the end of five rounds or as quick as the first with devastating power.
Israel Adesanya (21-1) has lapped the middleweight division displaying complete dominance along the way. A victory this weekend will see “The Last Stylebender” earn his fifth title defence, putting him on the halfway mark to his idol Anderson Silva’s 10 defences, who he defeated early in 2019.
Just two months later Adesanya defeated Kalvin Gastelum becoming the interim-middleweight champ, followed by the unification of the belt later that same year.
The 32-year-old champ then wracked up four more wins convincingly, including rematches with Marvin Vettori and Robert Whittaker – bar Yeol Romero, because if you know, you know. Now, the undisputed king of the middleweights faces a fresh challenge he called out many moons ago.
A stumble against Robert Whittaker meant that Jared Cannonier (20-5) would have to take step back and face Derek Brunson. Brunson was riding a five-fight winning streak before being brutally finished by “The Killa Gorrila”.
Without hesitation Cannonier earned his shot to rock the mic in a post-fight interview calling out for his turn on chance to challenge for the belt essentially jumping Sean Strickland who will fight on the same card this weekend. Jared is unquestionably the most dangerous fighter in the top ten of the middleweight division at present based on the raw power he possesses.
He is able to patiently create openings to land his power, but will he be able to continue that trend against the most illusive fighter in the middleweight division, let alone the entire UFC roster.
Verdict: Adesanya by TKO (14/10)
Only the second fighter in the UFC to find knockout victories across three weight divisions, Jarod Cannonier has put men to sleep at heavyweight, light heavyweight, and where he has made a name for himself, middleweight. Cannonier still carries devastating power as he cuts to his true weight class, and this will be a key in the hope of overcoming the challenge in front of him. The defensive shell he has created to press forward and land power in close range is key for Jared and will pay dividends should he last to the later rounds. However, the under the bright lights is when Israel Adesanya shines. In the later rounds his accumulative shots and reads on opposition movement will be overwhelming for Cannonier, when fatigue sets in. Israel Adesanya by TKO is the play.
Co-main – Alexander Volkanovski 48/100 vs Max Holloway 29/20 (Featherweight)
The greatest ever Australian fighter, Alexander Volkanovski, will put up his belt against one of the greatest featherweight fighters of all time hailing out of Hawaii, former UFC champion Max Holloway. A trilogy fight which has been in the works for some time after the rematch decision in favour of Volkanovski was scrutinized by fight fans, former fighters, and the like.
Undisputed featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski (24-1) is on a 20-fight win streak over the span of a decade. An 11-fight win streak in the UFC puts Volkanovski in and among the greats of the sport and whenever he speaks, the word legacy is on his lips. A decisive victory over Max Holloway will cement his stamp on the division as he aims for greater heights. Volks well-rounded game and heavy pressure style fighting coupled with KO power makes him a difficult puzzle to crack, not to mention his ability to take a punch strengthened by his insane cardio. The first fight was a unanimous decision victory in which Volk claimed UFC gold, while the immediate rematch was a split decision first title defence that had everyone up in arms questioning the judges. Volkanovski faced Brian Ortega winning the matchup via unanimous decision followed by a dominant showing over the Korean Zombie. One more leap to cement himself as the greatest ever featherweight fighter – legacy.
The Hawaiian legend, Max Holloway (29-6) is soon to be inducted into the UFC hall of fame for an illustrious career. Between 2014 and 2018 Holloway went on a 13-fight win streak including back-to-back round three stoppages over the GOAT featherweight, Jose Aldo. A masterclass ensued thereafter TKO’ing of Brian Ortega before stepping up a weight class and faltering against Dustin Poirier for the interim lightweight strap. He then went back down to defend against Frankie Edgar convincingly, followed the two decision losses to Volk. In true Holloway fashion he faced anyone necessary to get back to the belt defeating challengers Yair Rodriguez and Calvin Kattar.
Verdict: Holloway (29/20)
This should be an incredible trilogy bout between two elite fighters who have separated themselves from the other contenders atop the featherweight division. Holloway is a long and rangy fighter with terrific kickboxing ability having never been dropped in 35 fights boasting a solid chin, high-volume output, and phenomenal cardio. All the same can be said for Volkanovski apart from being knocked down by his current opponent more than once and having a better wrestling output. This will be a war of attrition, as well as whether Max can keep it on the feet or not. While I can see why Volkanovski is the favourite once again, his implied win seems a tad too high, which has me leaning towards Blessed at considerable value.
Fight of the Night
With a card stacked from early prelims all the way through to the Pay-Per-View main event and some exciting money picks this card is set to be the standout of the year. Sean O’Malley always brings excitement as well as end product when he faces his toughest opponent to date, Pedro Munhoz, and a win for O’Malley sits at 31/100.
Another rumble set for UFC 276 is South African Dricus Du Plessis taking on the middleweight divisions gatekeeper Brad Tavares. In Du Plessis’ 18 pro fights none have gone to decision, and the value on the South African is one to get on as quickly as possible.
While the co-main and main events have all eyes on them, the previous two mentioned bouts will bring excitement to any type of fight fan, but if you want to see blood, brawl, and just bad intentions, “Ruthless” Roby Lawler facing off against Bryan “Bam Bam” Barberena is the epitome of old school caution to the wind tough guy action – Don’t miss the Fight of the Night in the welterweight division between these two legends of the game.
Full card predictions
Main Card: 04:00 CAT, Sunday 3 July
- Middleweight (c) Israel Adesanya (1/5) vs Jared Cannonier (3/1): Adesanya
- Featherweight (c) Alexander Volkanovski (48/100) vs Max Holloway (29/20): Holloway
- Middleweight Sean Strickland (8/10) vs Alex Pereira (9/10): Pereira
- Welterweight Robbie Lawler (81/100) vs Bryan Barberena (9/10): Lawler
- Bantamweight Pedro Munhoz (43/20) vs Sean O’Malley (31/100): O’Malley
Prelims: 02:00 CAT, Sunday 3 July
- Lightweight Brad Riddell (23/100) vs Jalin Turner (63/100): Turner
- Welterweight Ian Garry (52/100) vs Gabriel Green (27/10): Garry
- Welterweight Jim Miller (49/100) vs Donald Cerrone (14/10): Miller
- Middleweight Brad Tavares (11/10) vs Dricus Du Plessis (63/100): Du Plessis
Early Prelims: 00:00 CAT, Sunday 3 July
- Middleweight Uriah Hall (24/10) vs André Muniz (27/100): Muniz
- (W) Flyweight Jessica Eye (43/20) vs Maycee Barber (31/100): Barber
- (W) Bantamweight Jessica-Rose Clark (57/100) vs Julija Stoliarenko (5/4): Clark