Round 1 – No touch of gloves as they meet in the center. Both look for leg kicks to start. Adesanya lands a couple to the inside of the lead leg. Adesanya slaps with an outside leg kick, and a moment later Cannonier lands one of his own from him. Cannonier lands a front kick to the body. Adesanya throws a head kick but it’s blocked by Cannonier. Another pair of leg kicks connect for Cannonier. Adesanya doubles up on kicks, one to the leg and one to the body. The champ fires off two quick punches. They exchange leg kicks. The attacks become a little more calculated as they move around the cage. Adesanya lands another leg kick. Cannonier lands another kick and ducks under a head kick from Adesanya. A nice front kick to the body scores for Adesanya, followed by a leg kick. A right hand finds the mark for the champ in the closing seconds. MMA Junkie scores the round 10-9 for Adesanya.
Round 2 – Adesanya pressures forward to start the round. Both are tentative to go first, but the champ throws a head kick as one of the first strikes in the round. Both throw kicks at the same time, but Cannonier stumbles after the exchange. Adesanya lands a front kick and throws a couple of punches after. Cannonier lands a nice right hand. A high kick from Cannonier soon follows. More kicks from Cannonier are offered, one to the body and the legs. Adesanya responds with a kick of his own and clean punch to the body. A combination of punches follow from the champ. Cannonier changes levels to threaten a takedown, but doesn’t commit. Adesanya rips a punch to the body and follows up with a sharp combination that Cannonier partially blocks. Adesanya lands a clean right a moment later. Just as Cannonier lands a punch, Adesanya accidentally pokes the eye causing a brief pause. They get back to action and begin trading strikes with higher frequency. Adesanya looks for punches while Cannonier fires off a pair of kicks. The champ rushes forward with a combination in the closing seconds. MMA Junkie scores the round 10-9 for Adesanya.
Round 3 – Adesanya opens up with a few kicks and just misses the mark with a big front kick to the head. They trade punches, with Cannonier landing a nice counter. Adesanya lands a nice left jab to pop Cannonier’s head back. Cannonier changes levels and attempts to clinch, but Adesanya keeps him off. The champ then lands a nice combination. Cannonier goes to the body with a punch. Cannonier threatens another takedown as he rushes forward, lands a couple of punches, and presses the champ against the cage for a moment. Adesanya gets free and returns to the center, and finds home for a couple of punches. Cannonier misses with a spinning punch. A nice exchange of punches occurs. Cannonier lands a right hand and then clinches, pushing Adesanya against the cage. Adesanya lands a few short punches while Cannonier looks for knees to the thigh. Adesanya breaks free and tries a head kick but can’t find the mark. Better round from Cannonier, but MMA Junkie scores the round 10-9 for Adesanya.
Round 4 – Cannonier lands a nice right hand for the first clean strike of the round, but Adesanya answers with a nice punch of his own a moment later. Cannonier lands a punch to the body and Adesanya responds with a kick to the midsection. They trade punches, but Adesanya lands clean with a right. A nice leg kick scores for Adesanya. Cannonier clinches with double underhooks and pushes Adesanya against the cage. Adesanya breaks free and lands a leg kick, followed by a punch to the body. A nice exchange of punches soon follows. A nice left jab from Adesanya lands and Cannonier responds with a leg kick. They clinch again with Adesanya landing short punches while Cannonier pushes the champ against the fence. Cannonier goes over the top with an elbow, which leads to Adesanya escaping the clinch. Cannonier misses a head kick a few seconds before the round ends. MMA Junkie scores the round 10-9 for Adesanya.
Round 5 – They come out firing punches, with both men connecting. Adesanya slaps with a leg kick and then offers a couple of jabs. Another leg kick from Adesanya lands. The champ tries a hard head kick but Cannonier blocks it. Adesanya then brushes off a takedown attempt. Cannonier presses forward with a couple of punches, but Adesanya answers nicely. They continue to look for openings on one another. Adesanya keeps the action busy by going first with punches. Cannonier clinches and gets both underhooks again, pushing the champ against the fence with just over two minutes remaining. Cannonier hits a couple of knees to the thighs, and short punches to the body. Adesanya gets a Thai plum for a moment but he can’t do anything with it. Cannonier attempts a single leg but Adesanya keeps things standing. Adesanya offers a couple of punches and then Cannonier begins to ramp up the pressure with strikes as time begins to run thin. Another clinch stalls the action but when they break free, Adesanya continues to fire strikes first. A head kick from the champ misses, but he lands a leg kick a second before the horn sounds. MMA Junkie scores the round 10-9 for Adesanya, giving him the fight 50-45.
Result: Israel Adesanya def. Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 50-45)
recap: UFC 276 results: Israel Adesanya outpoints Jared Cannonier, solidifies rematch against Alex Pereira
Photos: Israel Adesanya def. Jared Cannonier at UFC 276: Best photos
records: Israel Adesanya (23-1 MMA, 12-1 UFC), Jared Cannonier (15-6 MMA, 8-6 UFC)
referee: Herb Dean
judging: Derek Cleary (49-46), Sal D’Amato (50-45), Junichiro Kamijo (49-46)