The headline act of UFC 276 features a battle for the undisputed middleweight title, as a teak-tough first-time challenger looks to succeed where every other middleweight has failed, by defeating Israel Adesanya.
That task falls to Jared Cannonier, a hard-hitting former heavyweight who has gradually moved down the weight classes to eventually settle as a ripped 185-pounder with legitimate fight-ending punch power and experience of dealing with bigger, heavier, harder-hitting opposition.
The big question, of course, is whether that will be enough to dethrone middleweight champ Adesanya, who has looked outstanding at 185 pounds ever since his arrival in the UFC. The former kickboxing star’s only defeat came in a failed bid to capture the light heavyweight title. But as a middleweight, “The Last Stylebender” has been virtually untouchable.
Will that be the case again this weekend, or does Cannonier have the right blend of attributes needed to hand the Kiwi his first loss as a middleweight? We’ll find out on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena.
Check out the UFC’s pre-fight film, UFC 276 Countdown, which tells the pre-fight story of the bout, with opinions from both fighters and their teams.