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Handicapper Ben Rajavuori is here with his prediction and pick for the UFC 276 Main Event between Israel Adesanya vs Jared Cannonier.
ANALYSIS

UFC 276 Prediction: Israel Adesanya vs. Jared Cannonier Odds and Pick

UFC 276 is finally here Saturday, and we have a stacked card. The two title fights will again see two dominant champions defending their belt. In the main event, middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (22-1) faces challenger Jared Cannonier (15-5). The odds on Adesanya to successfully defend his title are substantial, with the books currently pricing Adesanya at -450 to take care of business on Saturday night. Can Adesanya do it once again?

UFC 276 Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

Date: July 2, 2022

Time: Prelims 8:00 pm ET

Where To Watch: ABC, ESPN, ESPN+

Click Here for Israel Adesanya vs Jared Cannonier Odds

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Israel Adesanya vs. Jared Cannonier Prediction

Israel Adesanya will be making his seventh title fight appearance in the last three years on Saturday night. He is 6-1 over these seven title fights, but the loss was at light heavyweight when Adesanya attempted to become a double-champ. Adesanya is still undefeated at middleweight and has faced all sorts of different fight styles over the run. Cannonier will be the powerful striker that will probably try to get Adesanya out of this fight early.

Jared Cannonier is now 6-5 in the UFC over his seven years in the promotion. Cannonier had two successful outings in the Ultimate Fighter but has earned his title shot after a 5-1 run over his last six. Cannonier has made significant strides in his fighting game, improving in almost every area, especially his striking defense and accuracy. However, the task that sits before Cannonier is massive if he is going to pull off the upset.

Adesanya will sport a nearly four-inch reach advantage in this fight, which may not seem like much, but don't overlook the fact. This reach advantage only amplifies an already tall and rangy fighter who utilizes his distance attacks at an elite level. How will this play out against a power hitter like Cannonier? Cannonier is primarily a striker who isn't skilled enough on the ground to try and beat Adesanya there, which means he will have to stand and figure out the puzzle that is Adesanya's range. This is a puzzle that no middleweight foe has solved yet against Israel. Speaking of past foes, this fight is also the first time that Adesanya is over a -300 favorite in a title fight. The highest line on Adesanya previously in a title fight was his last time out when he was -260 against Robert Whittaker, which was a closer fight than most may have expected.

Another interesting thing to note here will be the cardio difference. We have only seen Cannonier past the third round one time in the UFC, and that was two fights ago in a decision win over Kelvin Gastelum. Cannonier's cardio held up okay in that fight, although he lost the fifth and slowed down after the first three rounds. Also, no disrespect to Kelvin Gastelum, but he is no Israel Adesanya (as we saw in his title loss to Adesanya). Adesanya will be peppering Cannonier the whole fight, and his cardio is good enough to outpace Cannonier for 25 minutes. We have seen Adesanya in many five-round fights, and he almost always looks fresh in the fifth.

I see this fight playing out very poorly for Cannonier. I know that's a big surprise considering Adesanya is a -450 favorite, but we can cut the juice down by picking how Adesanya wins. Despite the decision victories for Adesanya lately, I see him taking this one before it hits the scorecards for two reasons. The first reason is that we have seen Cannonier get cracked multiple times in the UFC, and Adesanya will be, without a doubt, the best striker he has faced. The second reason is the time of the fight. 25 minutes only favors Adesanya in this fight. If he survives the first couple of rounds without eating a massive power shot from Cannonier, I believe he will cruise through the fourth and fifth, most likely landing the finishing shot in that time. Cannonier will be moving less in the championship rounds, which includes head movement, and it's also easier to knock someone out when they are tired. Cannonier slowed down in the fifth against Gastelum, and if he does against Adesanya, his light will be out. Adesanya's last knockout win was against Paulo Costa, and I see this fight playing out similarly. Canonnier will try to get Adesanya out early, and when he doesn't, Adesanya will land his finishing blow. We can get a knockout victory at +170 on Fanduel as of writing, and I love the odds for Israel to get another knockout title win.

Israel Adesanya vs. Jared Cannonier Pick

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Article Author

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Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.

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