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The main-event comes in the Middleweight division, as the Champion Israel Adesanya takes on Jared Cannonier. Making his fifth title defense, Adesanya comes into this fight relishing the fact that he’s fighting someone new. Having fought in rematches in back-to-back fights, Adesanya closed a few chapters. Looking to build upon his legacy, he opens a new one against Cannonier. A former Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight, Cannonier has enjoyed success at Middleweight. Winning two straight and four of the last five, at last, Cannonier has his opportunity to prove that he is the best 185 pounder in the world.
These two have been circling each other for quite some time. Cannonier had been close previously, but couldn’t get by Rob Whittaker in a title eliminator. However, with two straight victories since, he got his shot. A striker, with immense knockout power, Cannonier isn’t one to play around with on the feet. Physically strong, he can hold his own wrestling and grappling. The only concern with Cannonier is cardio. Seeing that he went five rounds in his last fight though, it’s possible that it’s not as problematic as we have thought. A non-concern for Adesanya, who has an excellent gas tank. Known for his dynamic and patient striking, Adesanya is one of the more tricky fighters to stand across from. Often calculated, Adesanya rarely makes mistakes and is very defensively sound.
Thus far, nothing other than wrestling has seemed to be an effective measure in defeating Adesanya. Seeing that Cannonier isn’t a wrestler, his chances in this fight grow slimmer. With knockout power in his hands, there is always a chance. However, not one I’m willing to bank on. In a masterclass on the feet, I see Adesanya dragging Cannonier into the later rounds, eventually defeating him via TKO.