While Fourth of July weekend is coming up, it’s also International Fight Week and the UFC is delivering the fireworks with a major card in UFC 276 this Saturday.
It all goes down at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, but you can place an online sports bet right here in Iowa. Iowa casinos have staff on hand to get you started with an in-person bet or two as well.
Two title fights top the stacked card. Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (22-1 MMA, 11-1 UFC) will look to defend his belt a fifth time against new challenger Jared Cannonier (15-5 MMA, 8-5 UFC) in the main event.
In the co-main slot, current featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski (24-1 MMA, 11-0 UFC) takes on former featherweight champ Max Holloway (23-6 MMA, 19-6 UFC) in a highly-anticipated trilogy bout.
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UFC 276 Main Event: Adesanya vs Cannonier
The 185-pound champ has a brand-new challenger in Cannonier.
Adesanya, who has been the middleweight champion since 2019 has beaten the likes of Paulo Costa, Robert Whittaker, Marvin Vettori, Kelvin Gastelum, Yoel Romero, Derek Brunson and Anderson Silva.
The former kickboxer-turned-MMA great has notched 15 knockouts in his MMA career. His most recent fights, however, have been decision wins over Whittaker and Vettori. Both of those fights were Adesanya’s second victories against each opponent.
Prior to that, Adesanya tried to reach “champ-champ” status by challenging then-Light Heavyweight Champion Jan Blachowicz, but came up short with a decision loss. The bout was Adesanya’s first and only loss so far in MMA.
But Cannonier is looking to increase the number in Adesanya’s loss column by one on Saturday night.
Cannonier has been on a tear as of late. He has won five of his last six fights since debuting at middleweight, scoring four knockouts on the way. He has finished Brunson, Silva, Jack Hermansson and David Branch since 2018.
Prior to that, Cannonier fought at light heavyweight and heavyweight, which also included his own decision loss to Blachowicz back in 2017.
Nobody has quite tested Adesanya in the middleweight division so far, but Cannonier might be able to. He has the power and control abilities that Blachowicz had when facing Adesanya and he’s in the best shape he’s ever been in fighting at 185 pounds instead of 205 or above.
Most recently, he finished top contender Brunson, who was on a five-fight win streak, with a barrage of elbows. In his post-fight interview, he demanded that UFC President Dana White give him the title shot.
And well, here we are.
How to watch UFC 276
- 3 p.m. preview show on ESPN 2
- Early prelims are at 5 p.m. on UFC Fight Pass
- Prelims begin at 7 p.m. on ABC, ESPN and ESPN+
- The ESPN+ PPV starts at 9 p.m. Saturday
It’s a great matchup and both fighters will more than likely be looking to keep things standing. Both love to strike and both are looking for the finish.
The winner will more than likely face the winner of another matchup on the UFC 276 card in Alex Pereira and Sean Strickland. Pereira has two wins over Adesanya back in their kickboxing days, including a knockout.
Robert Whittaker: W (Dec.)
|Last 5||Derek Brunson: W (TKO)|
Marvin Vettori: W (Dec)
|Kelvin Gastelum: W (Dec)|
Jan Blachowicz: L (Dec)
|Robert Whittaker: L (Dec)|
Paulo Costa: W (TKO)
|Jack Hermansson: W (TKO)|
Yoel Romero: W (Dec)
|Anderson Silva: W (TKO)|
UFC 276 Co-Main: Volkanovski vs Holloway III
In the co-main slot, two of the greatest featherweights in UFC history will face off for a third time.
Volkanovski is looking to nail the coffin and make it 3-0 against Holloway, while Holloway is looking to carry the belt once more.
The current featherweight champ is stepping back into the Octagon for the second time in 2022. He last fought in April, beating Chan Sung Jung by TKO in a heavily one-sided matchup. Volkanovski was originally supposed to face Holloway for the trilogy bout then, but Holloway pulled out due to injury.
Volkanovski has been on a run since his UFC career began in 2016. He has beaten the likes of Brian Ortega, Jose Aldo, Chad Mendes and Holloway twice.
Meanwhile, Holloway has been proving he deserves a third fight with the champ. He has back-to-back, one-sided decision wins against fellow top contenders Calvin Kattar and Yair Rodriguez since the last time he shared the cage with Volkanovski.
Both guys typically prefer staying on their feet and using their boxing abilities. Volkanovski has scored 12 knockouts in his MMA career while Holloway has 10 of his own.
The winner of this matchup will most likely be fighting top Josh Emmett next. The UFC boss White has even given Emmett cageside tickets for this weekend.
Chan Sung Jung: W (TKO)
|Last 5||Yair Rodriguez: W (Dec.)|
Brian Ortega: W (Dec.)
|Calvin Kattar: W (Dec.)|
Max Holloway: W (Dec.)
|Alexander Volkanovski: L (Dec.)|
Max Holloway: W (Dec.)
|Alexander Volkanovski: L (Dec.)|
Jose Aldo: W (Dec.)
|Frankie Edgar: W (Dec.)|
Full Fight Card
- Middleweight: Israel Adesanya vs Jared Cannonier
- Featherweight: Alexander Volkanovski vs Max Holloway
- Middleweight: Sean Strickland vs Alex Pereira
- Bantamweight: Pedro Munhoz vs Sean O’Malley
- Welterweight: Robbie Lawler vs Bryan Barberena
- Lightweight: Brad Riddell vs Jalin Turner
- Welterweight: Ian Garry vs Gabriel Green
- Welterweight: Jim Miller (-210) vs Donald Cerrone (+180)
- Middleweight: Brad Tavares (+105) vs Dricus Du Plessis (-125)
- Middleweight: Uriah Hall vs Andre Muniz
- Flyweight: Jessica Eye vs Maycee Barber
- Bantamweight: Jessica-Rose Clark vs Julija Stoliarenko