Israel Adesanya outpoints Jared Cannonier to retain UFC middleweight title

Israel Adesanya outpoints Jared Cannonier to retain UFC middleweight title

LAS VEGAS -- In a clinical, albeit unspectacular, performance, Israel Adesanya outpointed Jared Cannonier

via unanimous decision to retain his middleweight title in the main event of UFC 276 on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena.

The judges scored the bout 49-46, 49-46 and 50-45.

Adesanya's superiority in striking was evident throughout the bout. Cannonier landed nothing of real significance,

with Adesanya keeping him at a distance and picking his opponent apart with jabs and kicks to the body and legs.

The crowd grew restless with the lack of thrilling action, especially in the fourth round, which was marked by boos and fans raising lit-up smartphones

But Cannonier did nothing to push Adesanya, a former champion kickboxer, into anything resembling a firefight

Adesanya, meanwhile, was content with safely landing strikes with his length from so far out that Cannonier could not counter them.

Adesanya outstruck Cannonier 163-141 for the fight, including a 116-90 edge in significant strikes

Judges Derek Cleary and Junichiro Kamijo both gave Cannonier the third round, but that's it

Judge Sal D'Amato had Adesanya sweeping all five rounds.

"They had an excellent game plan," Adesanya said, giving credit to Cannonier's coach, John Crouch

 "It was really hard to get my follow-ups going."

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