UFC 276: Israel Adesanya looks forward to having to ‘rise to the occasion’ for a new contender (Video)

Israel Adesanya looks to continue his successful ways at 185-pounds.

UFC 276 is a big showcase of mixed martial arts during International Fight Week. The event is headlined by two massive title fights, one featuring current middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, against number two ranked Jared Cannonier.

“This feels like the Super Bowl, WrestleMania, that type of big,” Adesanya said about the upcoming title fight. “I feel like this is going to be one of those that is memorable. I’m just going to show off and show out. That’s what I do.”

Adesanya has been on a tear since joining the UFC back in 2018. A little more than a year after his debut, Adesanya was fighting for the interim UFC middleweight championship, defeating Kelvin Gastelum in a close battle at UFC 236. Since then, he’s defended that title five times and even challenged himself to move up a weight class where he dropped a bout to then light heavyweight champion, Jan Blachowicz. Now he’s facing a new contender for his title.

“This is new blood. I like having new blood,” Adesanya said. “The Vettori one I got bored. The Robert one I was waiting a little bit and I didn’t like that for my performance. I like having to rise to the occasion. I used to this, he’s not, he’s new to it. There’s nothing he does that I’ve never seen before.”

Jared Cannonier took the long road to his first UFC title fight

Debuting for the UFC in 2015 at UFC 182, Cannonier has made it a trek to get to his first title fight. Beginning at light heavyweight, he eventually dropped a weight class where he began to put together a series of wins. Even though he’s dropped five fights in the company, four of those victories have come against men who would hold UFC titles either at 205 or 185 pounds. With ten knockouts to his name, Cannonier’s power makes him a true threat to Adesanya’s run as champion.

“His spirit. I recognized his fighting spirit and his essence,” Adesanya said when talking about Cannonier as a contender. “I like to take care of these guys. I call out all the greats and I saw that in him before all you guys did. He proved his worth as the next contender.”

UFC 276: Israel Adesanya vs. Jared Cannonier takes place on Saturday, July 2, 2022, live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. Follow along with FanSided MMA, who is on-site, for all your news and highlights.