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UFC 276: Adesanya vs Cannonier – Preview

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Capping off International Fight Week, UFC 276 is set to be the biggest MMA card of 2022 thus far. A stacked undercard will be topped off by rising stars on the main card and a pair of title fights in the headliners.

In the main event, reigning middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is set to make his fifth title defense. Standing across from him will be power-punching top contender Jared Cannonier, looking to come up large in his first title opportunity. Will the techincal ability of Adesanya prevail or will Cannonier smash his way to a UFC title?

A highly-anticipated trilogy bout between defending featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and former titleholder Max Holloway will go down in the co-main event. Since their razor-thin rematch in 2020, both men have established themselves as dominant forces in the division. It’s now time for them to settle the score once and for all.

Let’s take a closer look at this card!

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(c) Israel Adesanya (22-1) vs (#2) Jared Cannonier (15-5) – UFC middleweight championship bout

To continue his historic reign, the champion will have to get through one of his most dangerous challenges to date.

At 185lbs, no man has been able to solve the puzzle that is Israel Adesanya. The reigning champ has used his striking ability to pick up wins over the division’s elite, including Robert Whittaker, Marvin Vettori, Paulo Costa, Yoel Romero and Derek Brunson. Though he has prefered a more reserved approach in his recent outings, opting to keep on the outside and attack the legs, Adesanya is still a dangerous finisher. His mastery of distance and range is something that will make him a stylistic challenge for Cannonier. If he’s out with a point to prove, this could become a signature win for ‘Stylebender’.

The career resurgence of Texas’ Jared Cannonier is among the best in recent history. Having only dropped one loss in his six middleweight bouts, Cannonier brings power down from an earlier career run as a heavyweight and light-heavyweight. Since the move down to 185lbs, his smashing power has stationed him as one of the division’s elite. Should he be able to land shots from inside boxing range, as he has done with Brunson and Hermansson, he could cause problems for Adesanya. A win for ‘The Killa Gorilla’ would be mounumental, but will have to bring his A-game to beat the champ at UFC 276.

(c) Alexander Volkanovski (24-1) vs (#1) Max Holloway (23-6) – UFC featherweight championship bout

The two very best featherweights will finally look to end their rivalry with an epic trilogy bout for the world title.

Public perception of UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski has swayed heavily since his last bout with Holloway. A pair of title defenses against Brian Ortega and Chan Sung Jung have made it clear that Australia’s Volkanovski is a pound-for-pound elite, dispatching of the pair in dominant fashion. An incredibly well-rounded skillset, coupled with speed and accuracy, make him a brutal matchup for everybody in his division. A third win over Holloway could very well make ‘The Great’ Volkanovski the greatest of all time at 145lbs.

The only man to have truly challenged Volkanovski’s title reign is former champ Max Holloway. A controversial razor-thin loss to champ in their UFC 251 saw a large amount of the fanbase believe that the Hawaiian was the superior fighter. Setting the record for significant strikes landed against Calvin Kattar and showing his levels against Yair Rodriguez has only affirmed that belief for Holloway’s fans. Pace, cardio and diversity of attacks have led Holloway to become one of the most exhilirating fighters in MMA. Finally exacting his revenge on Volkanovski will only strengthen the legacy of ‘Blessed’.

(#4) Sean Strickland (25-3) vs Alex Pereira (5-1) – middleweight bout

A rising Brazilian kickboxer is stepping up in competition against a relentless top talent in the UFC 276 feature bout.

To say that Sean Strickland is a divisive figure in the MMA community is an understatement. The California madman made his return to 185lbs in 2020, where his total record sits at 20-0. Though some have criticised Strickland for his lack of aggression in recent bouts, he has 10 career knockouts and a crisp boxing game that he utilises. A stinging jab and lots of lateral movement might be a tough puzzle for Pereira to get past on the night. Stealing the hype of his opponent at UFC 276 could very easily catapult ‘Tarzan’ into a title shot.

In only his third UFC outing, former GLORY double-champ Alex Pereira will get a top-5 opportunity in a pay-per-view feature fight. A knockout of Andreas Michailidis and hard-fought decision win of Bruno Silva proved that Pereira’s kickboxing credentials made him a potential threat to the UFC middleweight division. In particular, his clinch striking and lethal left hook have been revered. His next outing will be his chance to prove that he’s worthy of the hype out on him by fans. Should he and Adesanya win, the MMA meeting of those kickboxing rivals for the middleweight title is inevitable.

Robbie Lawler (29-15, 1 NC) vs Bryan Barberena (17-8) – welterweight bout

A former champion and veteran contender looking to continue their runs of form will throw down on the main card.

It’s fair to say that the best days of welterweight-great Robbie Lawler are far behind him. Still, the former champion is remaining active against some of the UFC’s elite. Lawler picked up his first win since 2017 against the returning Nick Diaz, where he displayed his speed and takedown defence. The heart and grit of the ex-champ is undeniable, making him a threat throughout the duration of the bout. Should he make it two straight this weekend, talks of the top 15 could be on the cards for ‘Ruthless’.

Having developed of a repuatation as an action fighter since 2014, Knoxville native Bryan Barberena has been a staple of UFC welterweight division. A pair of decision wins over Darian Weeks and Matt Brown in his last two have proved that Barberena is one of the most exhilirating fighters in his weight class, displaying a blood and guts style every time out. Ten career knockouts and an underrated grappling game make this veteran a tough fight for everybody. Three on the spin for ‘Bam Bam’ would be his best streak in years.

(#10) Pedro Munhoz (19-7, 1 NC) vs (#13) Sean O’Malley (15-1) – bantamweight bout

One of the UFC’s top prospects will try to get past his first top ten challenge in the UFC 276 main card opener.

The record of Pedro Munhoz is an example of talented fighters being hidden underneath losses. Since 2019, the Brazilian has been mainstay of elite fights, fighting a who’s-who of contenders. Not only does Munhoz possess elite kickboxing, but he’s also a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a brown belt in judo. Thunderous leg kicks and heavy hands could pose a very difficult stylistic matchup for O’Malley. A major victory this weekend would reestablish ‘The Young Punisher’ as a force to be reckoned with at 135lbs.

Having been insistent that his fights at the top level would come when the time was right, Sean O’Malley will finally look to move into the top ten at UFC 276. The 27 year old became one of MMA’s biggest stars through a blend of creative striking and unorthodox footwork, combined with his brash personality. In his career thus far, the speed of O’Malley has stifled every opponent he’s faced, even in his sole loss to Marlon Vera. A win against Munhoz could be a career-defining moment for ‘Suga’.

(#14) Brad Riddell (10-2) vs Jalin Turner (12-5) – lightweight bout

Explosive lightweight prospects try to move upward in the rankings in the featured prelim.

Alongside his City Kickboxing teammates on the card, New Zealand’s Brad Riddell is coming to Las Vegas in hopes of redemption. His striking prowess has led him to four UFC wins, including decisions over Jamie Mullarkey and Drew Dober. In his last bout, however, he suffered his first loss inside the promotion. Still, Riddell is a top 15 talent with some of the most advanced kickboxing mechanics in the division. A rebound win against the dangerous Turner would do wonders for the title hopes of ‘Quake’.

A dark horse of the lightweight division, Jalin Turner has quietly ascended up the lightweight division in the last three years. Stoppages over the likes of Uros Medic and Jamie Mullarkey have extended the California native’s 100% finish rate, consisiting of nine knockouts and three submissions. UFC 276 will mark his third conesecutive pay-per-view appearance, where he’s trying to get his biggest win to date. A second KO in 2022 could fast track ‘The Tarantula’ to contention.

Jim Miller (34-16, 1 NC) vs Donald Cerrone (36-16, 1 NC) – welterweight bout

Legends of the UFC records books will scrap in featured a bout guarenteed not to disappoint.

A quiet story on the horizon since late 2021 is the resurgence of veteran Jim Miller. Back-to-back knockouts snapped a skid and proved that the 38 year old could still pack a punch. Despite the recent strike stoppages, Miller’s forte lies on the mat. The New Jersey fighter is a high-level BJJ black-belt and was an NCAA Division 1 wrestler, which has given him eighteen submission wins in his career. A path to victory through forward pressure against Cerrone is lined up for Miller, and ‘A-10’ will be ready to snatch a neck or a knockout.

Not dissimilar to some other fighters on the card, it looks like the end is nigh for Donald Cerrone. The former title challenger is winless since 2019 and has openly talked about retirement. Now, on short notice, Cerrone is filling in with the hopes of going out on a win. He’s most certainly years removed from his fighting best, but don’t be too fast to deny the veteran. His quick kicks and underrated submission game could make it a tough outing for Miller. UFC 276 is likely the last time we’ll see ‘Cowboy’ ride into battle.

Ian Garry (9-0) vs Gabe Green (11-3) – welterweight bout

Streaking welterweights look to continue their ascent up the ladder in a prelim bout.

The third UFC appearance of Ireland’s Ian Garry is set for this weekend. The young striker burst onto the big scene in late 2021, and has since taken two wins over Jordan Williams and Darian Weeks in pay-per-view showings. It’s clear that the former Cage Warriors champion is a star in the making, but he’ll have to get past his toughest test to date if he wants to break further into the spotlight. ‘The Future’ is ready for the taking for Dublin’s Garry.

A road warrior for much of his short career, Gabe Green seems to finally have found his home in MMA’s premier orginisation. A decision loss to Daniel Rodriguez has been the only setback in his UFC tenure, which has included two exciting wins over Philip Rowe and Yohan Lainesse. The talented Californian brings a well-rounded attack to the Octagon, including knockout power and an unbelievable chin. ‘Gifted’ Green is flying under the radar, but this could be a breakout showing.

(#12) Brad Tavares (19-6) vs Dricus du Plessis (16-2) – middleweight bout

South Africa’s hope for a UFC title will look to crack the top 15 against a battle-tested TUF alumni.

A familiar name to many fans, Hawaii’s Brad Tavares has been making his name in the promotion 2010. Tavares has gone up against the division’s elite, including Israel Adesanya, Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero. His veteran style allows him to pick up wins in closely-contested fights, using a well-rounded striking and grappling aproach. Currently riding two straight wins over Antonio Carlos Junior and Omari Akhmedov, adding another notch to the streak could line Tavares up for a higher-ranked fight.

Hailing from South Africa after a career in KSW and EFC, Dricus du Plessis has captured the imagination of fans already. The hard-hitter has punched his way to UFC wins over Markus Perez and Trevin Giles in his first two appearances. Four unfortanuate cancellations have kept du Plessis on the sidelines since summer 2021. Eager to return to form and earn his ranking, ‘Stillknocks’ will be out to make a point on the UFC 276 prelims.

(#9) Uriah Hall (18-10) vs (#13) Andre Muniz (22-4) – middleweight bout

A middleweight mainstay will look to defend his top-10 spot against a submission-savvy prospect.

At 37 years of age, nobody is expecting a title run from TUF alumni Uriah Hall. The perennial contender, still, has been racking up wins without too many losses in recent years. His four-fight win-streak was snapped in a lackluster showing against Sean Strickland in his last outing, but Hall remains one of the most experienced fighters at the highest level. His flashy striking has become more reserved and methodical, which has shown decent results. A victory over Muniz at UFC 276 would be massive for the career of ‘Prime Time’.

Still searching for his breakout performance, Andre Muniz has already made a name for himself as a serious threat to the middleweight division. The jiu-jitsu ace has scored four UFC wins so far, including a SOTY contender over the legendary ‘Jacare’ Souza. Not only does Muniz have submissions, however. He’s also an experienced Muay Thai practitioner, with four knockout wins in his career. A fourth submission will skyrocket ‘Sergipano’ to title conversations, should he be able to get it.

(#12) Jessica Eye (15-10, 1 NC) vs (#14) Maycee Barber (10-2) – flyweight bout

Two of flyweight’s finest trying to make it to the title contention will collide in a prelim bout.

Following her title shot agaisnt Valentina Shevchenko, long-time contender Jessica Eye has fallen on hard times. 1-3 in her last four, Eye has regressed from title contention, though she has remained competitive. Her hand speed and wrestling ability make her a multi-faceted attack for those she faces. A major win for Eye at UFC 276 would revitilised her chances at a second title run.

The stock of Maycee Barber may have dropped slightly since her initial streak, but the 24 year old remains as one of the brightest stars at 125lbs. The DWCS alumni enters UFC 276 on two-straight victories over Miranda Maverick and Montana De La Rosa. Now training at Team Alpha Male, Barber is planning to add a strong wrestling game to her black-belt karate. Adding a third win to her streak will put ‘The Future’ into motion at flyweight.

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Who are you picking this weekend? Who will be the champions as of Sunday morning? Let us know in the comments!

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Magomed Umalatov & Denis Golstov OUT, Dilano Taylor & Juan Adams IN | PFL 8

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Magomed Umalatov & Denis Golstov have unfortunately been ruled out of their PFL semi-final playoff this weekend against Rory MacDonald & Matheus Scheffel as they were unable to secure a visa to enter the United Kingdom. The news was announced by PFL just moments ago.

Magomed Umalatov will now be replaced by welterweight alternate Dilano Taylor, whilst Golstov will now be replaced by former UFC heavyweight Juan Adams.

PFL 8 will take place at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena this Saturday, August 13th. You can find the updated fight card for the event below.

PFL 8 Full Card

Post Main Card European Qualifiers:

Will Fleury vs Anthony Salamone

Nathan Kelly vs Ben Ellis

Vojto Barborík vs Maxim Radu

Francesco Nuzzi vs Moktar Benkaci

Main card

Dilano Taylor vs Magomed Umalatov

Ante Delija vs Renan Ferreira

Juan Adams vs Matheus Scheffel

Sadibou Sy vs Carlos Leal

Preliminary Card

Josh O’Connor vs Emran Sakhizaada

Mohammad Fakhreddine vs Marcin Wójcik

Chris Mixan vs Christian Stigenberg

Szymon Bajor vs Hatef Moeil

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PFL Offers To Host Kayla Harrison vs Cris Cyborg

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After both women were featured on yesterday’s episode of the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Kayla Harrison and Cris Cyborg now have a serious offer on the table for their super fight. The founder and co-owner of the PFL Donn Davis tweeted saying that the PFL will host the fight and “handle all matters”. Offering up $1 million for each fighter’s purse and a $2 million winners bonus, the fight now has some serious money behind it.

Whilst on the MMA Hour, both women had something to say about the fight, Kayla Harrison actually called into the show when it was about to end to tell her side of the story. She said that the last she heard from the PFL was that Cyborg was a free agent and they had reached out. Harrison also said that she would be happy to negotiate on behalf of Cyborg to get her whatever she wants, whether the fight is winner takes all or not, whether Harrison has to go through a full USADA drug testing program etc. Her only request was that they allow elbows so she can “put one through her skull”.

Cyborg, on the other hand, said that if the PFL wants to make the fight happen, they should contact Scott Coker and Bellator to make the fight a co-promotion. Despite now being a free agent, Cyborg referred to the fact that she loves working with them and considers Coker to be family and would want them to be involved. Whilst co-promotion isn’t out of the question as it’s something Bellator have done before, it does make the deal more complicated.

Also on the MMA Hour, Cyborg announced that she will be making her professional debut in boxing on September 25th. She will face Simone Silva in Curitiba, Brazil and signed her contract live on air. Harrison’s next outing in the PFL comes in less than two weeks when she faces Martina Jindrová on the 20th August at PFL 9 in London as one half of the semi-finals.

Is this a super-fight you’d like to see made in the near future? Let us know your thoughts on the situation in the comments.

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Jesse Arnett vs Ali AlQaisi 2 | The Biggest Rematch in UAE Warriors History is Official!

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The biggest rematch in UAE Warriors history is confirmed as Jesse Arnett (20-8) is set to defend his UAE Warriors featherweight title against rival Ali AlQaisi (12-6) in the main event of ‘UAE Warriors 33’ on Saturday, September 17 live from the Etihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Arnett won the title from AlQaisi in an exciting and heated affair at ‘UAE Warriors 30’ this past July ending ‘The Royal Fighter’s’ triple championship reign. The bout was ended via doctor stoppage due to a cut sustained by AlQaisi in the second round. Emotions ran high and tempers flared in the aftermath, however officials quickly handled the situation and both fighters immediately agreed to a rematch.

Will Arnett retain and establish himself as the UAE Warriors featherweight champion or can AlQaisi regain his status as triple champion!? The score will officially be settled on September 17, live around the world on UFC Fight Pass.

If that wasn’t enough excitement, we will see the anticipated return of the Africa series as ‘UAE Warriors 32: Africa’ takes place the night prior on Friday, September 16.

History will be made as Kevin Oumar (8-3) and Emilio Quissua (3-0) compete become the first ever UAE Warriors Africa light heavyweight champion.

Hailing from Comoros, Oumar is based out of France where has become both a sanda and kickboxing champion. The 29-year-old is on a five-fight win-streak which includes an impressive submission win over the previously undefeated Mohamed Amine in his last fight in UAE Warriors this past March.

Oumar will once again need to be on top of his game as he faces Angola’s Emilio Quissua. A former kickboxer himself, Quissua trains out of the renowned Planet Eater gym in Germany and has won all three of his professional MMA bouts since making his debut just over a year ago.

Stay tuned for more fight announcements.

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