Adesanya prevails over Cannonier to defend UFC middleweight belt

And still, the king of UFC middleweight, Israel Adesanya. (Getty Images via

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya continues to dominate in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and successfully defended his middleweight crown against challenger Jared Cannonier.

The technical Adesanya put on another striking clinic and dominated Cannonier in five rounds to win the championship duel in unanimous decision fashion, 49-46, 49-46, and 50-45.

From the get-go, the hard-hitting Cannonier couldn’t do much against the slippery Adesanya as the champion evaded most of his opponent’s power shots and handed him a beat down in the counter-punching department.

Every time Cannonier looked to put pressure while swinging wildly with his hooks, Adesanya was quick to dodge and countered with a 1-2 combination that boosted his points in the whole five-rounder.

Adesanya also slowed Cannonier’s offensive approach soon as the second round kicked off when he landed a barrage of leg kicks that disrupted the challenger’s rhythm.

Cannonier and his camp adjusted in the third round and started to incorporate some ground game and had several take-down attempts against Adesanya.

However, Adesanya’s much-improved ground defense was evident throughout the match and was able to hold his ground every time Cannonier tried for a body slam to set up his ground and pound.

The struggle continued for Cannonier in the last two rounds and wasn’t able to pull off any surprises and could only watch Adesanya pick him apart until the last tick of the bell.

Despite another successful title defense, the crowd in attendance booed both of the fighters due to the lack of action for most of the fight with some exiting the arena midway in the last round.

Adesanya then called Alex Pereira, the man who only tainted his professional mixed martial arts record several years ago.

“Our previous fight was an error on my part. Like I said at the press conference, next time I put you on skates. You’ll be leaving like Elsa in Frozen,” said Adesanya.