Adesanya Outpoints Cannonier In Tactical Five Rounder

Israel Adesanya has been referred to by many as one of the most intelligent strikers that has ever entered the UFC Octagon. Tonight versus Jared Cannonier at UFC 276, Adesanya has once again lived up to this title.

Under the bright lights of the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, “The Last Stylebender” executed a near flawless victory over his latest title challenger. By using evasive footwork, defensive head movement, and relentlessly dynamic striking combinations that kept Cannonier guessing all night, Adesanya coasted to his fifth straight 185-pound title defense. Additionally, this victory marks the champion’s twelfth straight victory among the ranks of the middleweight division.

In addition to out striking his opponent throughout the 25-minute affair, Adesanya utilized excellent balance and takedown defense to nullify all four of Cannonier’s attempts at getting this fight to the ground. He also found defensive success while clinching against the cage by pummeling for an underhook, and neutralizing the inside strikes that could have been quite damaging. After pushing away from the clinch positions, Adesanya was even able to use his long reach to land unexpected strikes before Cannonier was safely out of striking distance.

Throughout the fight, the consistently successful strike that Adesanya landed over and over was his piston like jab. Sometimes referred to as a “stabbing jab”, he has the ability to throw this with very little wind up and without telegraphing, which is why it caught Cannonier off guard on many occasions during this bout.

By the fifth round, it was clear that Cannonier had slowed down drastically. This was not only from trying to keep up with the titleholder’s swift footwork, or from getting his head snapped back by straight punches for four straight rounds, but also from absorbing the low kicks that Adesanya would follow a large amount of his combinations with.

In the end, Adesanya fought an extremely tactical fight in order to earn the unanimous decision on the judges scorecards, and defend his middleweight crown.

During his post fight interview, the champion credited Cannonier and his team for their gameplan, and explained that he had a tough time capitalizing on his follow-up strikes due to the effectiveness of his opponent’s standup game.

Adesanya also took the time to call out his next opponent, Alex Pereira, who fought and won earlier in the evening. Pereira holds two wins over Adesanya in professional kickboxing, and it is clear that he wants to make up for these losses now that his rival is climbing the UFC middleweight ladder.

Official Result: Israel Adesanya def. Jared Cannonier via Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 50-45)

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