The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, July 2 with a star-studded 13-bout card worthy of a Fourth of July celebration. UFC 276 features middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (22-1-0) taking on second-ranked contender Jarrod Cannonier (15-5) in the main event. Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway will meet for the third time to decide the featherweight title in a co-main that also features former women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate and fan favorite Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. UFC 276 caps off the promotion’s annual International Fight Week extravaganza and will be available via pay-per-view on ESPN+.
Adesanya (22-1) is looking to extend his three-year five-fight reign atop the division. The last time out (UFC 271), he beat challenger Robert Whittaker by unanimous decision. The Last Stylebender has never lost a fight at 185 pounds (his one loss is at light heavyweight), which explains why odds makers have made him a heavy favorite. Caesars Sportsbook lists Adesanya at -360, and the champ isn’t hurting for confidence.
“I don’t care about wins or losses any more. I don’t care about belts. All I want to do is just show off. I know when I show off and have fun, I’m the best in the world.” Adensanya said in a promotional video for the event.
Cannonier, who is six years Adesanya’s senior, began his career more than a decade ago as a heavyweight (he has also competed at light heavyweight). But it is at middleweight where the hard-hitting veteran will finally get his shot at glory. The 38-year-old defeated Derek Brunson at UFC 262 with a ‘Performance of the Night’ effort, his fifth win in the last six outings.
“I’m confident I can beat any man on the face of the planet. I don’t care who you are, where you’re from, what you’ve done,” Cannonier said.
Volkanovski and Holloway will reunite in the Octagon for just the 15th trilogy fight in UFC history, with the featherweight title on the line. Volkanovski (24-1) took the first two matchups in close fashion. He first claimed the belt in 2019 and then defeated Holloway again in a rematch a year later in a fight many believe Holloway won. A win would position Volkanovski to move up to 155 pounds and chase his goal of a second title. Holloway (23-6) was himself the 145-pound champ in 2016.
In the lead up to the main event, Alex Pereira takes on Sean Strickland in another middleweight matchup that could leave the winner with the next shot at the title. Pereira (5-1) joined UFC in 2021 and holds two wins over Adesanya in professional kickboxing.
Lauren Murphy (15-5) will fight Meisha Tate (19-8) on the undercard in a bout that was originally set to take place in May. Murphy is coming off a loss to 125-pound champion Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 266. Tate, who was recently victorious on Celebrity Big Brother, is fighting at flyweight after having beaten Holly Holm for the Bantamweight title back in 2016. Cupcake lost to Ronda Rousey in a Bantamweight championship fight at UFC 168.
Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller will also face off on the undercard. Miller was originally scheduled to face Bobby Green in a welterweight matchup. But an injury to Green gave Cowboy the chance to finally get back in the Octagon. Twice in the last two months, his scheduled fight with Joe Lauzon was canceled on the day of the event. Cerrone knocked out Miller with a head kick back in 2014.