Israel Adesanya (22-1) and Jared Cannonier (15-5) headline a star-studded UFC 276 taking place July 2 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The pre-fight narrative: Adesanya, a -400 favourite to win, looks to defend his UFC middleweight title for the fifth time since it was unified following his victory over Robert Whittaker in 2019. Cannonier, meanwhile, has five wins and one loss since dropping to middleweight.
Check out our best UFC 276 Adesanya vs. Cannonier picks.
Adesanya vs. Cannonier picks
Best bet: Adesanya to win via decision (+120)
Adesanya has absolutely owned the middleweight division throughout his career. He’s a perfect 22-0 when fighting in that weight class and almost all of those victories have been decisive.
In the UFC, Adesanya is 11-0 as a middleweight and 10 of those wins have come by either knockout or unanimous decision, with the exception being a split decision to Marvin Vettori in 2018.
His only career loss was when he moved up to light heavyweight against Jan Blachowicz in an attempt to hold multiple belts at once — even then, Stylebender lost that contest on points.
Adesanya’s style of fighting may not be the most fun to watch (there’s a lot of distance control and strategic striking that goes on) but it sure has been effective. Three of his last four wins have gone to decision and none of his opponents landed over 60 significant strikes in those contests.
Take a look at how Adesanya has defended in his last four wins:
|Opponent||Significant strikes taken|
|Paulo Costa (Round 2 KO)||12|
Adesanya isn’t one to push for a knockout. His average fight time of 17:35 is the sixth longest in UFC history. He has five inches of reach over Cannonier so we expect him to hold his opponent to distance and again deliver a victory via a drawn-out decision.
Key stat: Adesanya has never been knocked down in his 12 UFC fights.
Read more: How to bet on the UFC
Over 4.5 rounds (-125): We like this pick as a complement to our best bet. It provides an additional bit of safety in the off chance Cannonier wins on points (+800) or Adesanya scores a very late knockout.
Cannonier has done his fair share of putting opponents to bed (10-of-15 wins via KO) but we don’t see that happening against Adesanya.
Speaking of being knocked down or out, Cannonier has only been on the wrong end of a show stopper twice, most recently in 2018. We like this one to go the distance.
Odds as of 6:44 p.m. ET on 06/28/2022.
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