Israel Adesanya

The Last Stylebender

Nigeria

Looks to defend title
MiddleweightUFC
August 5, 2022
Adesanya is scheduled to fight Alex Pereira for the UFC Middleweight Championship at UFC 281 on Nov. 12, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Adesanya will try to defend his UFC Middleweight title for a seventh straight time when he faces the up-and-coming Pereira. The two have previously met twice under kickboxing rules, where Pereira won first via decision and a year later via knockout. Adesanya hasn't tasted defeat since losing to Jan Blachowicz at light heavyweight, but he's undefeated as a pro at middleweight. Pereira has won each of his first three UFC fights since signing with the promotion in November of 2021.
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Cruises past Jared Cannonier
MiddleweightUFC
July 2, 2022
Adesanya retained his UFC Middleweight Championship on Saturday, defeating Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 50-45) at UFC 276 in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
It was another dominant, if perhaps slightly underwhelming performance from Adesanya. Entering as roughly a -500 favorite, Adesanya had no issues dissecting Cannonier on the feet. He never had Jared in any significantly trouble, but Adesanya absorbed no real damage, either. Izzy's length and technical striking skills have been too much for any opponent at 185 pounds to overcome at this point. Perhaps that will change in his next title defense. Alex Pereira -- who crushed Sean Strickland via first-round knockout earlier in the evening -- is going to be next barring something unforeseen. Izzy and Pereira fought twice in the world of kickboxing, with Alex winning both times, first via unanimous decision, and then via knockout. The early Vegas line has Adesanya as a -200 favorite, which if that holds, would be the lowest number since his second-round knockout win over Paulo Costa at UFC 253 in September 2020.
Huge favorite in fifth title defense
MiddleweightUFC
June 30, 2022
Adesanya is approximately a (-450) betting favorite for his middleweight title defense against Jared Cannonier at UFC 276 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
Adesanya has yet to lose a fight at middleweight since gaining the belt in April of 2019, and he's even solidified his status recently by defeating former champion Robert Whittaker for a second time back in February. His weight cuts seem almost easy, and his cardio has never before let him down. Adesanya is a kickboxer by trade and only uses wrestling in a defensive manner, so a matchup against Cannonier -- who prefers to stand and trade as well -- seems almost perfect. Adesanya will also enter with five-inch height and three-inch reach advantages. Cannonier does have fight-ending power in his hands, but Adesanya has given fight fans no reason to question his chin so far -- even former light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz couldn't finish the job in their five-round fight back in 2021.
Fighting Cannonier at UFC 276
MiddleweightUFC
May 7, 2022
Adesanya will fight Jared Cannonier for the UFC Middleweight Championship at UFC 276 on July 2, Marcel Dorff of Eurosport.nl reports.
ANALYSIS
The middleweight champion is set to fight for the first time since defeating Robert Whittaker via unanimous decision at UFC 271 on Feb. 12. Adesanya is currently 21-1-0 in MMA matchups. Moreover, Cannonier's last fight was also at UFC 271 where he defeated Derek Brunson. The victory improved his fighting record to 15-5-0.
Remains middleweight king
MiddleweightUFC
February 12, 2022
Adesanya successfully retained his UFC Middleweight Championship on Saturday, defeating Robert Whittaker via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46) at UFC 271 in Houston.
ANALYSIS
It's going to take a herculean effort for any middleweight to get the belt off Adesanya, and Whittaker -- widely regarded as the second-best 185-pounder in the world today -- has now come up woefully short against the champion on two occasions. As is the case in all of his fights, Izzy used his size, length, and all-world kickboxing skills to control the pace on the feet. It's entirely possible Adesanya is the most creative and best striker in UFC history. Defensively, Izzy did allow Whittaker to land four successful takedowns, but was able to work his way back to his feet almost immediately each time. Adesanya is huge for the middleweight division and has extremely long limbs, which makes his underrated wrestling game all the more impressive. No fighter in the division is going to outpoint him over the course of 25 minutes, so it's imperative his opposition try different ways to generate offense. Whittaker went with the wrestling game in this one and it didn't work. It was announced earlier this week that Adesanya signed a new multi-fight contract with the UFC. Jared Cannonier -- who knocked out Derek Brunson earlier in the evening -- is likely next in line for the champion. Cannonier is 5-1 in his last half dozen bouts, with his one defeat in that span being a lopsided unanimous decision loss to Whittaker. Adesanya is going to be an overwhelming favorite should that fight come to pass.
Extends contract with UFC
MiddleweightUFC
February 9, 2022
Adesanya's agency, Paradigm Sports, announced Wednesday via its official Twitter account that the 32-year-old fighter signed a new multi-fight contract with the UFC.
ANALYSIS
Adesanya has been one of the promotion's bigger draws since making his UFC debut in February 2018, so it comes as little surprise that president Dana White extended the middleweight fighter's contract. The extension comes ahead of Adesanya's anticipated headliner matchup with Robert Whittaker at UFC 271 in Houston on Saturday.