The matchmakers at Ultimate Fighting Championship announced the card for the annual International Fight Week—UFC 276 taking place on July 2. Two title defenses are on the pay-per-view bill, including featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski taking on former champ Max Holloway for the third time.
But the main draw—and as good as Volkanovski was against Chan Sung Jung in UFC 273, you know this is true—is the title claim that pits No. 2 middleweight contender Jared Cannonier (15-5) against Kill Cliff Fight Club fighter, reigning champion, and fan favorite Israel Adesanya (22-1). Expect T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to explode when these two take the octagon.
“I think he’s the guy,” the Last Stylebender says, “the second most dangerous guy in the division behind myself. I look forward to fighting him.”
That was nice for the champ to say.
The soft-spoken Killa Gorilla from Dallas was not so polite and had less flattering things to say about the man who has successfully defended his title four times in a row: “We’re gonna turn ‘Izzy’ Adesanya into ‘Easy.’ It’s gonna be ‘Easy’ Adesanya.”
Ah, makes you want to mix up an Adesanya-inspired Tekilla Kiwi Kooler.
If the former heavyweight Cannonier is smart, he'll try to get Izzy on the floor and keep him there. Izzy is the best defensive striker in the world—he gets knock outs as he's falling away—so trying to go toe-to-toe for five rounds might not be the best strategy.
In any case, bring it on!
But wait, there’s more! Not to be outdone, there is a SECOND Kill Cliff Fight Club fan favorite on the bill in UFC 276: Kill Cliff’s Robbie Lawler will face Bryan Barberena in the 170-pound prelims. Lawler will put his 29-15 record on the line against Barberena (17-8) in his first fight since taking down Nick Diaz in UFC 266 last September.
The prelims for UFC 276 is on ESPN on Saturday, July 2; the main card is on ESPN+ or wherever you get your MMA.