UFC 276 results, highlights: Israel Adesanya outpoints Jared Cannonier to retain middleweight crown

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Ahead of the UFC 276 main event, UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya made quite a stir with an entrance inspired by WWE legend The Undertaker. The ensuing performance wasn't quite as entertaining as Adesanya methodically worked his way to a unanimous decision victory over Jared Cannonier.

Adesanya's gameplan revolved around working the jab, feinting and landing leg kicks. It wasn't pretty and left the crowd frustrated but it was effective in taking out a powerhouse striker in Cannonier.

Cannonier attempted to make a mid-fight adjustment to work from the clinch against the cage. Unfortunately for the challenger, when he was able to grab a clinch, he was not often able to do much offensively beyond landing knees to Adesanya's thighs.

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The fight was lacking in big action moments, and instead showcased Adesanya's technical skills and the ability of those skills to nullify the brute force approach of Cannonier. Often Cannonier was left reaching for counter shots after Adesanya had already landed one or two strikes and moved well out of striking range.


Cannonier also occasionally attempted to score a takedown rather than settle for a clinch against the cage, but Adesanya was able to remain on his feet throughout the contest, continuing to show off an evolution of his wrestling skills, or at least the ability to nullify the wrestling of his opponents. With only working from the clinch providing anything resembling success for Cannonier, it was that well to which he attempted to return frequently.

By the fourth round, the fans began to mildly revolt, booing loudly during Cannonier-initiated clinches or when the two men were standing at striking range without engaging in any fireworks. By the fifth round, many fans had begun filtering out of the arena.

At the conclusion of the five rounds of action, it was clear Adesanya had earned the decision, but the fan goodwill from the walkout was gone as he was loudly booed after the announcement of the 49-46, 49-46 and 50-45 scorecards, all in his favor.

After the fight, Adesanya was asked what would be the next step in his career, having already cleared out almost every top contender at 185 pounds.

Adesanya called out Alex Pereira, the man who holds two kickboxing wins over Adesanya, including a brutal knockout victory, and who knocked out Sean Strickland earlier on the main card.

"[Our previous fight] was an error on my part," Adesanya said, addressing Pereira. "Like I said at the press conference, next time I put you on skates. You'll be leaving like Elsa in Frozen."

Elsewhere on the card, featherweight titleholder Alexander Volkanovski completed his trilogy with Max Holloway by putting on his best performance to date. Volkanovski swept the judges' scorecards after battering his opponent and opening up a nasty gash over his left eye. Volkanovski, now on a 22-fight win streak, seems to have his eye on a potential lightweight title shot next.

CBS Sports was with you the entire way on Saturday bringing you all the results and highlights from the UFC 276 below.

UFC 276 card and results

  • Israel Adesanya (c) def. Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 50-45)
  • Alexander Volkanovski (c) def. Max Holloway via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
  • Alex Pereira def. Sean Strickland via first-round TKO (punches)
  • Bryan Barberena def. Robbie Lawler via second-round TKO (punches)
  • Sean O'Malley vs. Pedro Munhoz ends in no contest due to eye poke
  • Jalin Turner def. Brad Riddell via first-round submission (guillotine choke)
  • Jim Miller def. Donald Cerrone via second-round submission (guillotine choke)
  • Ian Garry def. Gabriel Green via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Dricus Du Plessis def. Brad Tavares via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • 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 first-round submission (armbar)
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Official result: Israel Adesanya def. Jarred Cannonier via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 50-45) to retain the UFC middleweight championship

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Israel Adesanya (c) vs. Jared Cannonier -- Round 5: Adesanya pops out a few right hands and a few leg kicks as Cannonier just circles and bounces. Cannonier did connect with a left hand but ate a heavy leg kick. Cannonier eventually shot again after getting slowly picked apart. Cannonier held Adesanya against the cage doing nothing more than a few knees to the thighs. Cannonier then tried for a single-leg takedown but it wasn't there for him. Cannonier did land one right hand that got in clean before he clinched again. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Adesanya (50-45)

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Israel Adesanya (c) vs. Jared Cannonier -- Round 4: Cannonier landed a little right hand early in the round but Adesanya tagged him with a hard jab. Adesanya landed a heavy body kick and a two-punch combo behind it. Another right hand landed for Adesanya. He then landed a left and ducked and spun under a wild shot from Cannonier. Cannonier grabbed another clinch along the cage but did nothing with it before Adesanya broke away and landed a leg kick. Again, Cannonier clinched up along the cage while Adesanya landed a few inside punches. Not a thriller but efficient work by the champion. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Adesanya (40-36)

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Israel Adesanya (c) vs. Jared Cannonier -- Round 3: Adesanya went right back to the leg kicks before throwing a front kick that just missed Cannonier's face. For the first time in the fight, Cannonier shot but Adesanya threw him into the cage, easily avoiding the takedown. Cannonier missed with a sweeping hook.Cannonier shot again and landed a right hand in the process. He then stuck Adesanya against the cage, landing some good shots to the face and body in his best moment of the fight. Adesanya came back with a hard jab and more kicks to the legs. Cannonier connected with a left and right hand before Adesanya threw a four-strike flurry in return. Cannonier then again drove forward with a clinch to stick Adesanya to the cage. Adesanya landed a lot of short shots to Cannonier's head while Cannonier held the clinch and kneed at the champ's legs. A better round for Cannonier but still likely one for the champ. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Adesanya (30-27)

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Israel Adesanya (c) vs. Jared Cannonier -- Round 2: Adesanya landed a good early jab, continuing to use his length to keep Cannonier from getting inside. Adesanya then missed a head kick but landed to the body. Adesanya landed a few hard leg kicks and then a left hand to Cannonier's face. Adesanya started to throw more kicks to the legs and body as Cannonier's output started to drop. Cannonier just missed with a big counter left hand. Adesanya opened up with a few flurries of strikes before landing a solid combination that stumbled Cannonier. Then came an accidental eye poke by Adesanya that led to a break. Adesanya went back to work on the legs with kicks but Cannonier returned with some of his own. Adesanya landed one last left hand before the end of the round. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Adesanya (20-18)

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Israel Adesanya (c) vs. Jared Cannonier -- Round 1: Cannonier missed with his first leg kick while Adesanya landed an early one of his own. Both men were very hesitant early, but Adesanya landed a few left hands and more leg kicks as Cannonier stalked forward. Cannonier did land a few leg kicks after about a minute of action. Adesanya landed a good body kick and used feints to keep Cannonier a bit unsettled. Adesanya started mixing his angles and strikes, but Cannonier did find a home for a few more leg kicks. Cannonier ducked under an Adesanya head kick but did eat a left hand after. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Adesanya

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It's main event time. Israel Adesanya defends the UFC middleweight championship against Jared Cannonier in just minutes.

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@ufc via Twitter
July 3, 2022, 4:19 AM
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