Nigeria’s Adesanya defeats Cannonier to retain UFC middleweight title

Nigerian boxer Israel Adesanya defeated Jarred Cannonier via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 50-45) to retain the UFC middleweight championship.

Adesanya fought against middleweight contender Jared Cannonier at UFC 276 at the T-mobile Arena, Las Vegas Sunday morning.

Both fighters came into the bout with impressive records, but after five rounds, Israel remained undefeated in the category and even had the time to call out a likely next opponent, Alex Pereira who shared a UFC 276 fight card.

Since his arrival to the scene in 2018, ‘The Last Stylebender’ has looked better each time he’s stepped into the Octagon and is still undefeated in middleweight. He first won his interim title in the Fight of The Year winner against Kelvin Gastelum in 2019.

Israel Adesanya vs Jared Cannonier at UFC 276

How the fight happened

Round 1: UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and Jared Cannonier both threw leg kicks in round one without a touch of gloves.

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.

Round 2: Cannonier takes the fight to Adesanya and forces him to back into the corner occasionally. The fight is temporarily stopped as Cannonier has to have his right eye checked. The round ends with Adesanya on top landing a big body shot.

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.

Round 3: Adesanya throws 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, coming closer to Adesanya, gets a clinch and forces him into the corner. Cannonier tries digging his knees into Adesanya’s who manages to free himself and sends a head kick which brings the round to an end.

Round 4: Adesanya landed a heavy body kick and a two-punch combo behind it.

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.

Round 5: Final round underway. Cannonier rushes out of his corner and is checked by Adesanya. Both fighters get into a clinch and back into the corner. Cannonier digging into Adesanya’s knees. Cannonier attempts a take down which fails and follows it up with a double jab. Adesanya replies with a head kick. The round ends.

According to reports, Israel Adesanya winnings from the fight are summed up to $1.1million. Jarred Cannonier on the other hand is expected to earn $700,000 from the fight despite the loss and this is the highest earnings of his career.

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