Pic: Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
|Adesanya vs Cannonier UFC 276
|T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
|Saturday, July 2nd, 10pm
It is International Fight Week once more, and the UFC is celebrating its summer spectacular with two title fights on a loaded pay-per-view card. At the very top we have middleweight champion Israel Adesanya putting his belt on the line against challenger Jared Cannonier. The UFC 276 main event comes after a stacked card and co-main between featherweight champion Alex Volkanovski and former champ Max Holloway who meet for a third time.
Lots for the savvy gambler to choose from here, in other words. Oddsmakers favor both champions to retain their titles. Adesanya (-410) has looked bulletproof in the 185-pound division, and Cannonier (+330) feels less like an inevitable test whose time has come and more like the only available option who hasn’t already taken his turn losing to the champ. Cannonier has power, as well as a solid overall game, but is he really a threat to Adesanya?
Previous challengers of Cannonier’s size and stature, such as Robert Whittaker (who beat Cannonier in 2020) have struggled with the range against the tall, lanky champion. Just getting in close enough to hit the guy without being picked apart has been a real problem with other six-foot tall middleweights, and it’s not like Cannonier is especially slick in that department. Adesanya’s lone loss up at light heavyweight showed he can be outworked and outgrappled by larger opponents, but it’s hard to see Cannonier taking him down and keeping him there for long.
Pic: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
The smart play is Adesanya straight up to win, though you might have to parlay it to see any real return. If you’re feeling more adventurous, consider Adesanya via decision (+120), since Cannonier is tough to put away and the champ doesn’t often see the need to take unnecessary risks.
As for what you might want to pair a potential Adesanya parlay bet with, take a closer look at the co-main here. Volkanovski and Holloway have fought two extremely close fights, both of which went to the judges, with Volkanovski winning both by slim margins. Think they’ll go all five again this time? I sure do, though I can’t say I feel confident enough in the state of MMA judging to say for sure who’d get the nod if they have yet another close fight. All I know is that you can get -250 odds on seeing the scorecards, which is decent enough as a parlay bet.
If that’s not enough for you and you feel like getting really crazy? You might consider adding Alex Pereira (-110) to beat Sean Strickland. He’s just the kind of dangerous striker Strickland might struggle with, assuming Strickland’s ego gets in the way of exploiting some of Pereira’s other deficiencies. With him added to the mix, the odds on the parlay go up to +232 – but the risk increases markedly as well.
Adesanya vs Cannonier and Volkanovski vs Holloway to go the distance (-125)
Israel Adesanya (-420) vs Jared Cannonier (+360)
Alexander Volkanovski (-210) vs Max Holloway (+175)
Sean Strickland (-110) vs Alex Pereira (-110)
Robbie Lawler (-125) vs Bryan Barberena (+125)
Pedro Munhoz (+240) vs Sean O’Malley (-300)
Brad Riddell (+125) vs Jalin Turner (-150)
Jim Miller (-190) vs Donald Cerrone (+160)
Ian Garry vs Gabe Green
Dricus Du Plessis vs Brad Tavares
Uriah Hall vs Andre Muniz
Maycee Barber vs Jessica Eye
Jessica-Rose Clark vs Julija Stoliarenko
UFC 276 will air live on TV this Saturday, July 2nd at 8pm ET. The main event will kick off two hours later over on ESPN+ live from Las Vegas. You can stream the event live by visiting ESPN.com.