One of UFC’s most dominant current champions, Israel Adesanya, is back this weekend. Attempting to defend his UFC Middleweight Championship for the fifth time, he will face Jared Cannonier in the final part of the promotion’s “International Fight Week” festivities this year.
The fight will headline UFC 276, which also includes a featherweight title bout and numerous appearances from rising prospects. All of the action will go down at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Here’s a preview of it all.
Early Prelims (6:00PM EDT / 3:00PM PDT) (UFC Fight Pass / ESPN+)
Bout 1: Jessica-Rose Clark (11-7) vs. Julija Stoliarenko (9-6-1) (Bantamweight)
Searching for her first UFC victory, Julija Stoliarenko will face Jessica-Rose Clark in the first bout of the evening.
Stoliarenko, a former Invicta FC Bantamweight Champion, has yet to win since joining the UFC roster in 2020. She took her third consecutive loss earlier this year, dropping a decision to veteran Alexis Davis.
Clark was submitted in a fight earlier this year, taking a loss to Stephanie Egger. Before then, she had two consecutive victories in the division.
Bout 2: Jessica Eye (15-10) vs. Maycee Barber (10-2) (Flyweight)
Veteran Jessica Eye will return this weekend to face Maycee Barber.
Eye has been out of the cage for nearly a year, as numerous canceled bouts have stopped her from competing. Now scheduled to return, she’ll be fighting to break a three-fight losing streak that has accumulated since 2020.
Barber has put together some momentum since taking a pair of losses a few years back. She earned her second consecutive win at flyweight in April, beating Montana De La Rosa on scorecards.
Bout 3: Uriah Hall (17-10) vs. Andre Muniz (22-4) (Middleweight)
Uriah Hall will have a tough challenge this weekend, as he’ll face rising middleweight Andre Muniz.
Muniz has yet to lose through four UFC appearances. Three of those wins have proven his ability to be a dangerous grappler, submitting a trio of opponents in the first round via armbar.
Hall will be fighting to bounce back from a 2021 loss. He dropped a unanimous decision to Sean Strickland last year, not being picked on scorecards after five rounds of action. Before then, Hall attained a four-fight winning streak.
Preliminary Card (8:00PM EDT / 5:00PM PDT) (ABC / TSN 5)
Bout 4: Brad Tavares (19-6) vs. Dricus Du Plessis (16-2) (Middleweight)
In a UFC first, the prelims for this pay-per-view card will be broadcasted on U.S. TV network ABC. To kick off this four-pack of bouts, Brad Tavares and Dricus Du Plessis will face off.
Tavares has fought on the UFC roster for more than a decade now. He had a solid 2021, defeating Antonio Carlos Junior and Omari Akhmedov via decision. He’ll look to follow up on that this Saturday.
Du Plessis has shown to be a damaging fighter through two UFC appearances. He earned a first-round finish win in his 2020 promotional debut, defeating Markus Perez. Then last year, he appeared at UFC 264 to stop Trevin Giles in the first round of their bout.
Bout 5: Ian Garry (9-0) vs. Gabe Green (11-3) (Welterweight)
Undefeated welterweight prospect Ian Garry will return this weekend against Gabe Green.
UFC is clearly pushing Garry, giving him a big stage for all of his fights. His two previous appearances in the promotion have also come on the prelims for PPV cards before.
Garry’s debut with the UFC was in November 2021, when he stopped Jordan Williams in the first round. He had a less exciting second win in April, going three rounds against Darian Weeks for a victory.
Green is also coming off a pair of UFC wins. His last victory saw him hand former CFFC Welterweight Champion Yohan Lainesse his first loss, stopping him in the second round with strikes.
Bout 6: Donald Cerrone (36-16) vs. Jim Miller (34-16) (Welterweight)
In a clash between two of UFC’s most experienced fighters, Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller will meet during the prelims.
Miller was originally scheduled to face another veteran name this weekend in Bobby Green. However, after Green withdrew from the fight, Cerrone stepped in.
Both of these fighters usually compete at lightweight, but the short-notice nature of this bout presumably is what caused it to be at welterweight.
Miller and Cerrone are two of the highest-ranked fighters in UFC history when listing them by their number of appearances. Miller has fought a total of 39 times, and Cerrone has done so 37 times.
Cerrone has struggled in recent years, having gone winless since 2019. Since then, he has suffered five losses and one no contest. His last fight was a finish loss against Alex Morono in 2021.
On the other hand, Miller is currently on somewhat of a roll. He has earned two finish wins recently, including a victory over UFC newcomer Nikolas Motta in February.
Bout 7: Brad Riddell (10-2) vs. Jalin Turner (12-5) (Lightweight)
The prelims will wrap up with a fight between Brad Riddell and Jalin Turner.
Turner has quietly put together four consecutive wins via finish since 2020. His last win came due to strikes, catching Jamie Mullarkey in the second round with strikes.
Riddell will be a tough test for Turner during his current run.
Riddell started his UFC career with four straight wins from 2019 to 2021. He had that streak broken last year, albeit against a very tough contender in Rafael Fiziev.
Main Card (10:00PM EDT / 7:00PM PDT) (PPV)
Bout 8: Pedro Munhoz (19-7) vs. Sean O’Malley (15-1) (Bantamweight)
Sean O’Malley will get the hardest test of his pro career so far when he appears against Pedro Munhoz on the PPV portion of the card.
O’Malley has slowly been rising up the bantamweight ranks since he joined the promotion in 2017. During this time, he has gained a reputation for being a flashy striker that puts away any opponents without taking much damage in return.
That was certainly the case in his last fight, as he caught Raulian Paiva in the first round with punches to end a bout in December 2021. That fight was his seventh UFC win through eight appearances.
Munhoz has been on the UFC roster since 2014 and has been around the top of the bantamweight division for years now. His last two fights have both been losses, although they have come against tough names in Jose Aldo and Dominick Cruz.
Bout 9: Robbie Lawler (29-15) vs. Bryan Barberena (17-8) (Welterweight)
Fan-favorite Robbie Lawler will return on Saturday night to face Bryan Barberena.
Lawler has struggled in more recent years. He had a four-fight losing streak from 2017 to 2020 against names like Ben Askren and Colby Covington. This skid came to an end last year, albeit against a returning Nick Diaz who looked to be in rough shape. He has an arguably harder challenge this weekend.
Barberena is chasing a big moment for his UFC career on Saturday. Since joining the promotion in 2014, he has yet to put together a three-fight winning streak. That can change this weekend if he can score a win.
Barberena started his current streak with a victory over short-notice newcomer Darian Weeks last year. He then beat veteran Matt Brown in his last appearance, taking a split decision nod.
Bout 10: Sean Strickland (25-3) vs. Alex Pereira (5-1) (Middleweight)
A big fight in the middleweight division will take place before the weight classes best take the stage in the main event. In the next bout, Sean Strickland and Alex Pereira will face off.
Both fighters have made a name for themselves in the division recently.
Strickland has strung together five wins since returning in 2020. This includes two main event victories, going the distance against Uriah Hall and Jack Hermansson for scorecard wins over the past year.
Pereira, a former GLORY Kickboxing Champion, has scored two wins since going full-time on MMA and joining the UFC roster. He started his promotional run with a bang in 2021, stopping Andreas Michailidis with a flying knee.
Pereira has since returned to defeat the rising name Bruno Silva as well.
A fight down the line for Pereira against current champion Israel Adesanya holds some marketability, as they have previously met in kickboxing before. What’s more, Pereira earned a stoppage win over Adesanya in that sport many years back.
Bout 11: Alexander Volkanovski (24-1) vs. Max Holloway (23-6) (UFC Featherweight Championship)
The trilogy fight between UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski and former titleholder Max Holloway will take place in the co-main event spot.
Volkanovski first met Holloway in late 2019. He earned champion status in that fight, going five rounds to take a unanimous decision victory and get the belt off Holloway.
They fought in a rematch seven months later and went another five rounds. Volkanovski won yet again that time, although it was through a split decision result that time around. Like the first fight, the entire contest was a close and methodical striking battle.
Holloway has campaigned for a title shot since that loss and has scored big wins to further his cause. In early 2021, he put on a stunningly dominant performance against Calvin Kattar to win in the main event of a UFC card. Then later that year, he went 25 minutes against Yair Rodriguez for a victory.
On the other hand, Volkanovski has only remained dominant as champ since he first earned the belt. He has defended the belt three times in total, including wins over Brian Ortega and The Korean Zombie.
Bout 12: Israel Adesanya (22-1) vs. Jared Cannonier (15-5) (UFC Middleweight Championship)
UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya will look to keep his dominant run as titleholder alive in Saturday’s main event, as he takes on Jared Cannonier.
Adesanya has wiped out numerous challengers at middleweight since claiming the belt in 2019. He has now defended the belt a total of four times, placing him as the second-most dominant middleweight champion of all time. Of course, he still has a long way to go if he will ever surpass Anderson Silva, who defended his belt a total of 10 times from 2006 to 2012.
Adesanya beat former titleholder Robert Whittaker in a rematch earlier this year, going five rounds against him at UFC 271 for a unanimous decision win. Now facing a new name, he has the chance to earn title defense number five.
Cannonier is getting the title opportunity after many years around the top level of the 185-pound division. He has won four of his last five since 2019, with his sole loss coming against Whittaker. He’s riding the momentum of a finish win this weekend, as he beat Derek Brunson in the second round of a bout in February.
The dominant reign of Adesanya might continue on Saturday night. But as always, an underdog cannot be counted out.