It’s been a decade of UFC International Fight Weeks. UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya defends against Jared Cannonier to close the show for UFC 276. The champion has headlined a card during the festivities back in 2018 when he beat Brad Tavares on The Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale. Now, the Adesanya vs Cannonier odds pits him as a 4-1 favorite. It should be another clinic or a monumental upset as we’ve seen in Fight Weeks past.
Adesanya vs Cannonier Fight Info
- Fight: Israel Adesanya (c) (22-1-0) vs Jared Cannonier (15-5-0)
- Location: T-Mobile Arena
- Broadcast: Pay-per-view
Can Adesanya Deliver a Show?
In 2018, Adesanya “broke out” by delivering a brilliant five-round performance against Brad Tavares. This was during International Fight Week, which also featured a “champion versus champion” fight between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier. The performance not only earned Adesanya his first main event victory but also endeared him to the UFC fans.
Flash forward to now and Adesanya is a four-time defending middleweight champion. He is virtually untouchable and has beaten the top contenders even twice each. Fans who bet on UFC fights love him even if half of his fights have been boring. But going by these Adesanya vs Cannonier odds, Adesanya is promising another demolition job.
“I’m going to f*** him up,” Adesanya said during UFC on ESPN 38’s post-fight show. “That’s the main thing. I’m going to f*** him up and I’m saying that because I want that. I want people to be like ‘let’s see, let’s see.’ Because I know what I’m doing.”
Even if three of his last four title defenses have been lackluster decisions, Adesanya has the skill set to dismantle any fighter. He knocked out both Paulo Costa and Robert Whittaker in the second round each. Both fighters were smaller underdogs than Cannonier. If the UFC 276 fight odds are accurate, Adesanya will destroy Cannonier. The champion is looking forward to the “challenge” of putting on a show for the promotion’s landmark event.
“Honestly yes [it makes me more excited],” Adesanya said about headlining International Fight Week. “I’ll say yes and I like to live up to the challenge.”
Cannonier Could Produce a Thrilling Upset
On the other side of the picture, Cannonier is the overlooked challenger. Given the Adesanya vs Cannonier odds, he has the worst shot as a challenger and is the second-largest favorite since an ancient Anderson Silva. But the “Killa Gorilla” could be the most dangerous opponent as he holds that explosive knockout power.
The American has won 10 of his 15 victories via knockout. Some of these came at heavyweight and light heavyweight. Adesanya’s only career loss came at 205 lbs. when Jan Blachowicz neutralized him with his wrestling. Cannonier is much shorter than Adesanya but he does have that bulk and wrestling top-game to threaten.
“He’s gonna have to be very dynamic,” Cannonier said about his fight with Adesanya. “He’s gonna have to be like, red alert type sh*t… For me, this is going to be very fun, very interesting.”
Cannonier has only lost at middleweight once and it was a close fight against former champion Whittaker. He has knocked out the likes of Derek Brunson, Jack Hermansson, and David Branch. The 38-year-old was over a 2-1 underdog for his fights against Hermansson and Branch.
And speaking of upsets, International Fight Week has seen plenty in the main event. Cormier knocked out Miocic as the underdog a day after Adesanya’s fight in 2018. Amanda Nunes won the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship over Miesha Tate as a 2-1 underdog at UFC 200. And a night before, Eddie Alvarez captured the UFC title with odds as long as +250.
It’s a longshot at best. But should Cannonier find a way to beat Adesanya, it may just go down as the biggest upset in the last 10 years of International Fight Week.Follow us on Twitter