Israel Adesanya ignored the challenge faced by Jared Cannonier on a professional precision technical course at UFC 276.
The middleweight champion’s clash with his American rival never erupted, and Cannonier had trouble putting his finger on the elusive kiwi for large parts of the competition.
Adesanya, who impressed fans by honoring WWE superstar The Undertaker in his exit, was too quick and smart for his opponent but whetted appetite for the next defense.
Israel Adesanya defeated Jared Kannoner to retain the middleweight title at UFC 276 in Las Vegas
Cannoner was unable to beat the masterful technician and struggled, especially early in the match
Adesanya faced a face like thunder afterwards despite winning and admitted that his opponent’s game plan was tough
Adesanya was the most accurate striker and dominated the game from a distance
Said Alex Pereira – the only man to ever take him down – who took down Shawn Strickland earlier in the night to earn what would inevitably be a title shot.
The compelling narrative was pushed forward when the UFC decided to match Pereira on the same card in only the third UFC fight.
He earned two kickboxing wins, including a heavy KO win, against Adesanya, adding a real layer of interest to the highly anticipated match.
Pereira has looked great in his MMA career thus far and possesses the kind of lethal force that would upset a champ where all the others have failed.
He said afterwards, “A lot of people are talking about my victory over Israel Adesanya and they say it was only in kickboxing.” “I just beat the No. 4 ranked guy so I know I won that!”
Alex Pereira (right) knocked out Shawn Strickland with a nasty left hook for a solid win.
Pereira has tremendous strength and once again showed up as a talented striker against the number 4 player in the division
Preparations for this highly anticipated competition will begin immediately and another Antipodean star will shine in the evening’s co-main event as well.
Alexander Volkanovsky put any discussion to bed by passing Max Holloway in a three-way match. Having stumbled in his second game controversially on the scorecards, the Australian left the referees and fans without a doubt this time around.
Holloway has now been defeated three times by The Great and his legacy is now eroded, and the hero has clearly been proven to be the best fighter.
Volkanovksi has dominated the division so much that he has been talking about transitioning to lightweight and wants to reconcile the two classes at the same time.
Alexander Volkanovsky retained the featherweight title with a routine victory over Max Holloway in the joint main event
Holloway got bloodied and beaten after Volkanovsky showed how he gained a speed advantage in combat
The champion stood with his team and family in the octagon after beating Holloway for the third time
He has a height disadvantage of 145 pounds already, so he may be gnawing more than he can chew with Charles Oliveira and his teammates, but it would be great to see him.
The defining moment in the fight against Holloway came when he opened a wound below the Hawaiian eyebrow causing massive bleeding.
Life was already hard for the opponent and made it even more difficult against the guy with the speed advantage. In the end, Volkanovsky proved his class and could go back down to the champs.
Elsewhere, Donald Cerrone called up his UFC career time after losing to Brian Barberina. He said he wanted to pursue Hollywood and wasn’t hungry for competition anymore.
Irish rising star Ian Garry scored a third win in the organization to remain undefeated following a unanimous decision on Gaby Green.
Donald Cerrone called him this day and he came out of the cage with his two young sons in his arms
Ian Garry (left) beats Gabby Green to move to 10-0 after another impressive performance
Follow the Sportsmail live blog for updates on Israel Adesanya vs Jared Cannonier – and full undercard coverage – at UFC 276.