Israel Adesanya defeats Jared Cannonier, retains UFC title

Nigerian-born professional Mixed Martial Artist (MMA) Israel Mobolaji Adesanya was victorious against Jared Cannonier at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 276.

He won by unanimous decision, his fifth consecutive title defense at 185 pounds.

The champion adopted a kick-heavy approach in the opening stages as Cannonier swung and missed with an overhand right. Adesanya increased the pace at the start of the second round as he effortlessly switched stances to land his ram-rod jab. And just as the Sin City crowd began to grow restless, Adesanya began to put his punches together before the fight was paused when Cannonier was poked in the eye.

Cannonier’s right eye had started to swell up by the third round but the challenger adopted a more aggressive approach as the title fight hit the halfway mark. He managed to pin Adesanya to the cage but the champion slithered out of danger.

Adesanya snapped back Cannonier’s head with another unerring jab at the start of the fourth session as he continued to dominate. The challenger was able to land a lone right hand midway through the round but his successes were few and far between as the crowd grew restless again.

Cannonier’s corner told him he was down three rounds to one going into the final stoppage, meaning the American needed a stoppage to win the title. Adesanya was content to coast through the last five minutes, much to the chagrin of the 19,000 fans in the T-Mobile Arena. And Cannonier offered little thread as his title challenge fizzled out.

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