Israel Adesanya successfully defended his middleweight title against Jared Cannonier in the main event of UFC 276, winning via unanimous decision. It was a disappointing main event, but it was still a successful title defence for Israel Adesanya, from Nigeria, who retained his UFC Middleweight Championship against Jared Cannonier in their middleweight championship fight. In just the seventh professional fight of his former kickboxing rival, Alex Pereira, Pereira (6-1) has immediately emerged as a better opponent than Israel Adesanya, who he has defeated twice already in kickboxing. Israel Adesanya is expected to get another golden opportunity to be omnipresent in his upcoming bout with Alex Pereira, a Brazilian kickboxing sensation who eliminated Shawn Strickland at UFC 276. Israel Adesanya won the middleweight strap three years ago and is one of the UFCs most exciting fighters and personalities. Still, his meticulous walk around the ring was perhaps the most exciting part of his drier, technical win over Jared Cannonier.
While Alexander Volkanovski delivered a stunning display of dominance to keep his featherweight title versus Max Holloway in their trilogy bout, middleweight champ Israel Adesanya left fans feeling disappointed following a solid, lacklustre win over Jared Cannonier. UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya earned himself a cool $590,000 for his bout against Paulo Costa. The exact cost of the dominant middleweight champ’s contract will not be known until he has fought in the state requiring the MMA brass to reveal the purses of their fighters. Pereira earned a dominating victory on the undercard of UFC 276, dominating top-five ranked fighter Shawn Strickland, then scoring brutal knockouts. With the situation between heavyweight champ Frances Ngannou and the UFC less than ideal, Paradigm Sports head coach Tim Simpson believes that controversy could incentivise the UFC to make a deal for UFC middleweight champ Israel Adesanya.
Israel Adesanya’s previous three bouts in the Octagon have all ended in his decision victory. Having said that, some supporters believe the Nigerian is becoming progressively risk-averse and is doing everything he can to keep his middleweight belt on the judges’ scorecards. To put it another way, he’s coasting. This is the prevalent storyline following Adesanya’s most recent championship defence at UFC 276, where ‘The Last Stylebender’ strolled to a unanimous victory over Jared Cannonier, but Alex Pereira disagrees.
Pereira is presently ranked sixth in the UFC middleweight standings and is the only boxer in combat sports history to have KO’d Adesanya. Jan Blachowicz is willing to rematch Israel Adesanya for the middleweight belt. The UFC276 win drew much criticism for Adesanya’s defensive approach, especially after convincing him to deliver a spectacular performance. Some people argued that Adesanya’s loss to Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259, during a failed effort to advance up and claim the light heavyweight title, has prompted “The Last Stylebender” to become completely risk averse, to the expense of entertainment.