Publish date: 2022-07-03 04:47:46 | Author: Sodiq Oyeleke | Source: punchng.com
UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and Jared Cannonier both threw leg kicks in round one without a touch of gloves.
Adesanya threw leg kicks and blocked Cannonier’s. A wild, winging overhand right was dodged by the champion.
Adesanya switched stances and twitches – not even fully feinting yet.
Cannonier missed with his first leg kick while Adesanya landed an early one of his own.
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.
Adesanya landed a good body kick and used feints to keep Cannonier a bit unsettled. Adesanya started mixing his angles and strikes, but Cannonier did find a home for a few more leg kicks.
Cannonier ducked under an Adesanya head kick but did eat a left hand after.
UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is facing middleweight No.1 contender Jared Cannonier at UFC 276 at the T-mobile Arena, Las Vegas.
Adesanya defeated Robert Whittaker in February for the second time to retain his middleweight strap, while Cannonier knocked out Derek Brunson in the second round in February to become the weight’s No.1contender.
Since making his debut in 2018, ‘The Last Stylebender’ has looked better each time he’s stepped into the Octagon and is still undefeated in the middleweight. He first captured the interim title in the Fight of The Year winner against Kelvin Gastelum in 2019.
‘Izzy’ then defeated Robert Whittaker and unified the titles that same year.
He has successfully defended his title four times since then. On an otherwise perfect record for Adesanya (22-1), his only loss was during his unsuccessful step up to light heavyweight, losing to then-champion Jan Blachowicz.
The Nigerian-born New Zealander is looking to successfully defend his middleweight title for the fifth time.
Cannonier (15-5) has won two straight fights and five of his last six fights.
Israel Adesanya weighed 183.5 pounds and Jared Cannonier weighed 184.5 pounds for the main card.
Adesanya had boasted he would beat Cannonier, despite the dangerous American being his closest rival.
“Jared is a fighter; I call him the dark horse of the division. He was in the heavyweight division, and then moved down to the light heavyweight division, and now he’s in the middleweight division – so he has a lot of power in his hands,” Adesanya said on UFC 276 Countdown.
“Thanks to his skills, he dealt with many people, but many people are not me. Styles make fights, and I’m the Elementalist, so our duel won’t go all the way. He will be choked or knocked out.”