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UFC 276 fight card primer: Israel Adesanya vs. Jared Cannonier

Get up to date on the main event of UFC 276 between Israel Adesanya and Jared Cannonier. 

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The main event of UFC 276 will feature a middleweight fight between Israel Adesanya (22-1 MMA, 11-1 UFC) and Jared Cannonier (15-5 MMA, 8-5 UFC). UFC 276: Adesanya vs. Cannonier airs live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada this Saturday, July 2nd. The main card will start with a fight time of 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT, with the ABC/ESPN/ESPN+ prelims beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT and the early prelims kicking off at 6:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. PT.

How do these two stack up?

Adesanya: 32 years old | 6’4” | 80” reach

Cannonier: 38 years old | 6’0” | 77.5” reach

What have these two done recently?

Adesanya: W - Robert Whittaker (DEC) | W - Marvin Vettori (DEC) | L - Jan Blachowicz (DEC)

Cannonier: W - Derek Brunson (KO) | W - Kelvin Gastelum (DEC) | L - Robert Whittaker (DEC)

How did these two get here?

UFC middleweight champion said he was ready for ‘fresh meat’ after rematches in his past two appearances. And he got it with Jared Cannonier.

Adesanya knew he would fight Cannonier eventually. It was hard for ‘The Last Stylebender’ to ignore the hard-hitting talent who announced his arrival to the middleweight division with three consecutive technical knockouts of David Branch, Anderson Silva and Jack Hermansson. The ‘Killa Gorilla’ soon found himself on the cusp of his first potential championship opportunity when he was tapped to serve as the backup for Adesanya and Yoel Romero at UFC 248 over two years ago. Cannonier was scheduled to fight at that very pay-per-view event against Robert Whittaker before the ‘Reaper’ was forced to withdraw for personal reasons. Unfortunately, he could not fulfill his duty as a backup after sustaining a torn left pectoral muscle that kept him sidelined until the fall. In that time, Adesanya bested Romero, finished Paulo Costa and prepared to move up to light heavyweight to challenge then-champion Jan Blachowicz in an attempt to become the next two-division champion in the UFC.

Now recovered from surgery on his left pectoral muscle, Cannonier was rebooked against Whittaker at UFC 254. He lost a unanimous decision and suffered a broken left arm, leaving him sidelined again for nearly a year. In his return, the MMA Lab product was reintroduced into the title picture with a decision win over Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Vegas 34 last August. Cannonier then solidified himself as the No. 1 contender with a ‘Performance of the Night’ awarded second-round knockout of Derek Brunson at UFC 271 this past February.

Adesanya fell to Blachowicz and went down to middleweight for successful defenses against Marvin Vettori and Whittaker at UFC 263 and UFC 271, respectively.

Why should you care?

Cannonier could pose a new threat to Adesanya, but will it be enough to dethrone the champion? Tune in on Saturday night to find out.