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Israel Adesanya vs. Jared Cannonier UFC 276 Odds, Pick & Prediction: How to Bet Saturday’s Main Event (July 2)

Israel Adesanya vs. Jared Cannonier UFC 276 Odds, Pick & Prediction: How to Bet Saturday’s Main Event (July 2) article feature image
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Carmen Mandato/Getty Images. Pictured: Israel Adesanya.

  • UFC champion Israel Adesanya will go for his fifth consecutive middleweight title defense when he meets challenger Jared Cannonier.
  • Is Adesanya the rightful heavy favorite heading into this Las Vegas headliner? Or is Cannonier a legit challenge to the champ's crown?
  • Sean Zerillo breaks down the fight and provides a best bet below.

Israel Adesanya vs. Jared Cannonier Odds

Adesanya Odds
-500
Cannonier Odds
+380
Over/Under
4.5 (-109 / -118)
Venue
T-Mobile Arena
Time
Approx. 12:15 a.m. ET
Channel
ESPN PPV
Odds as of Saturday and via PointsBet.

UFC champion Israel Adesanya will go for his fifth consecutive middleweight title defense when he meets challenger Jared Cannonier in Saturday’s UFC 276 main event on pay-per-view.

Is Adesanya the rightful heavy favorite heading into this Las Vegas headliner? Or is Cannonier, who’s recently defeated fellow contenders Derek Brunson and Kelvin Gastelum to earn his title shot, a legit challenge to the champ’s crown?

Let’s look at the matchup. For more analysis on the rest of the card, you can check out my betting projections for the entire slate here.

Tale of the Tape

Adesanya Cannonier
Record 22-1 15-5
Avg. Fight Time 17:35 10:05
Height 6’4″ 5’11”
Weight (pounds) 185 lbs. 185 lbs.
Reach (inches) 80″ 77″
Stance Switch Switch
Date of birth 6/22/89 3/16/84
Sig Strikes Per Min 3.8 3.8
SS Accuracy 49% 50%
SS Absorbed Per Min 2.6 3.3
SS Defense 61% 63%
Take Down Avg. .0 .2
TD Acc 0% 50%
TD Def 77% 65%
Submission Avg .2 .0

After defending his title in a pair of rematches — against Marvin Vettori and Robert Whittaker — in a relatively uninspiring fashion, Adesanya faces new blood in the form of Cannonier, who has won five of his six bouts since moving to Middleweight.

A former Heavyweight, Cannonier is one of few fighters to record knockouts at three weight classes in the UFC. Although Adesanya is both the taller and longer fighter (5″ of height, 3″ of reach), Cannonier is the thicker man and carries far more significant power.

Still, Cannonier tends to fight in straight lines with below-average footwork, and he’ll have to close the distance against the champion, who excels at fighting off the back foot and countering his opponents.

Adesanya is both the more technical and faster striker. Still, when opponents refuse to engage him, his striking volume can be reasonably low, leading to relatively close rounds with thin scoring margins for the judges.

Both men have proven five-round cardio. And I doubt that we will see much, if any, grappling in this contest.

As a result, it’s hard to make Adesanya a significant favorite when Cannonier carries just as much — or potentially more — finishing upside, and the minute-winning won’t be particularly overwhelming in the champion’s favor.

Cannonier’s power should force Adesanya to take a tentative approach early, while the champion will look to keep distance and touch up the lead leg or fire kicks to the body if Cannonier switches to southpaw.

Still, Cannonier can fight out of both stances and mix up his approach. And he can check the leg kicks that Adesanya typically uses to slow his opponents — and control range — in the early stages of his fights.

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Unless Cannonier decides to bite the mouthpiece and blitz forward, this bout could play out similarly to the Adesanya vs. Yoel Romero fight, where the two combatants ended up in a staring contest for a long stretch.

Cannonier’s approach might determine how exciting this main event will look.

If he decides to engage, we could see a back-and-forth affair in which both men get hurt. However, if Cannonier lays back, he may have some success but will likely get picked apart by the cleaner and more technical striker.

If Cannonier wants to win, he has to attempt to turn this fight into a brawl or look to grind Adesanya up against the cage; playing the range game will not work to his benefit.

Additionally, this is Adesanya’s first fight since the Paulo Costa matchup in which he hasn’t had to worry about a severe threat of being taken down — and he picked Costa apart with relative ease. Perhaps Adesanya will look more comfortable in a striker vs. striker matchup despite the potential power discrepancy.

Ultimately, I suspect that Adesanya’s speed and footwork advantages, particularly in the big cage, will allow him to play matador every time Cannonier moves forward — and he’ll eventually pull away down the stretch.

Adesanya vs. Cannonier Pick

I projected Adesanya as an 83.6% favorite (-510 implied) in this fight, and I would consider using him as a parlay piece at around -475 or better at a 1% edge.

I projected the fight to end inside the distance 55% of the time (-122 implied), and I don’t see actionable value on the “doesn’t go to decision” or “inside the distance” prop (listed -115 at Caesars) for the fight.

Moreover, I don’t show actionable value on any winning method props for this fight. However, Adesanya by KO/TKO (projected +166, listed +170 at FanDuel) or Adesanya inside the distance (projected +139, listed +145 at BetRivers) come close to fitting the bill.

That said, the Adesanya and Over 2.5 Rounds prop (-140) at PointsBet caught my attention, giving us all of Adesanya’s decision equity and his late finish equity.

I expect Adesanya to be cautious of Cannonier’s power in the early stages of the fight as he attempts to kick from range. And if he can slow Cannonier down further by damaging the legs, he should eventually find consistent success with his hands in the pocket later in the fight.

The Pick: Israel Adesanya / Over 2.5 Rounds (-140 at PointBet)

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