The UFC’s 10th annual International Fight Week sets the stage for a thrilling pay-per-view event in Las Vegas on July 2. UFC 276 is less than one month away, and bettors should begin their handicapping, as two championship duels and several fan-favorite, high-profile fighters are on the card.
The co-main event features featherweight titleholder Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski and former titleholder Max “Blessed” Holloway in the matchup’s third installment. Volkanovski – priced between -184 and -190 – is favored for the second time against Holloway, who gets odds ranging from +154 to +160 in early wagering.
Now for the real fun. UFC’s third-ranked pound-for-pound fighter Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya puts his middleweight belt on the line for the fifth time in 276’s main event, this time against power puncher Jared “Killa Gorilla” Cannonier. Oddsmakers see this title bout as fairly one-sided, with Adesanya laying odds as short as -345 at UniBet Sportsbook and Cannonier as long as +280 at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Fans and bettors can catch the prelims on ESPN+ starting at 8 p.m. ET, as well as the main card on PPV at 10 p.m. ET.
We’ll add various prop bets to this post once sportsbooks open them to the public.
Adesanya vs. Cannonier Odds
UFC · Sat (7/2) @ 10:00 pm ET
|T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV|
Adesanya Sports Impeccable Form Ahead Of UFC 276
Adensaya’s MMA career (22-1) has been one most fighters in the business can only dream about achieving. After going undefeated (with 11 stoppages) in non-UFC promotions, he decided to take his talents to the UFC, where he has been just as impressive.
The Stylebender has built profound real estate within the 185-pound division since joining the big leagues. He has won all 12 of his middleweight bouts, including the one that earned himself the championship belt in October 2019. He has defended his belt four-straight times during his reign as champion, beating off superstar 185ers Robert Whittaker, Marvin Vettori, and Paulo Costa.
The only “flaw” in Adesanya’s otherwise perfectly clean resume was a light heavyweight championship decision loss to then-champion Jan Blachowicz. A victory would’ve made him just the fourth fighter ever to hold two division title belts simultaneously.
Double-champion or not, the Nigeria native has established himself as the clear top dog in the division.
Cannonier’s Weight Transformation Leads Him To Title Shot
Jared Cannonier and his weight have gone through major ups and downs – literally – since joining the UFC. He started his career as a heavyweight – yes, that was 50 pounds ago – where he was 1-1. He then slimmed down to light heavyweight, where he experienced his dog days, going 2-3 in the process.
Fortunately, though, he has been thriving since dropping down to middleweight, posting a 5-1 record and earning his first title opportunity at any weight class.
He enters his first UFC title fight at 38 years old.
Adesanya Faces Another Opponent As Large Favorite, While Cannonier Must Tackle Longest Career Odds
Despite having to defend his belt against an elite puncher with great recent form, Adesanya still receives a ton of respect from oddsmakers. The middleweight champion faces the third-shortest odds of his UFC career, according to BestFightOdds.com.
Those leaning towards Team Cannonier on July 2 should know he faces the longest odds to win a fight of his UFC career, which is understandable given his opponent and the magnitude of the fight. He is 3-3 in UFC fights as the betting underdog.
Fighting Styles To Influence Prop Lines
If you study tape on both fighters and their methods of victory, you’ll get a sense of how the upcoming match may play out, and you can use that knowledge towards which prop bets to wager on.
Adesanya’s success has come from his versatile striking. His superior reach and long kickboxing background have been the main contributors to his 15 wins by KO/TKO out of 22 career fights. The other seven have come down to the judges’ scorecards. The champion’s grade-A striking hasn’t been as effective in title bouts, though, with five of his seven title fights being decided on the scorecards – albeit all unanimous.
Cannonier’s history as a meaty heavyweight has helped him develop ferocious, heavy punches. His 15 victories are composed of 10 KO/TKOs, two submissions, and three decisions. His biggest question mark is his ability to withstand the championship rounds, because he’s never experienced them.
The two fighters have combined for just two stoppages by submission in 43 MMA fights, and oddsmakers take that into account when crunching the numbers. Still, I don’t expect the fight to end with a submission.
It’s difficult to know the best way for Cannonier to beat Adesanya, considering their somewhat similar approaches and the fact that the Nigerian has tasted defeat just once. No matter what the American contender decides to do, we can expect him to give it his all because this may be his one and only chance at strapping on a UFC belt.
Co-Main Event: Volkanovski vs. Holloway 3
Volkanovski and Holloway know each other well, but only one can say they’ve enjoyed the other’s company. Volkanovski snatched Holloway’s belt as the betting underdog in 2019, held onto the belt in a rematch in 2020, and now is the favorite to do it again in the matchup’s trilogy.
UFC · Sat (7/2) @ 10:00 pm ET
|T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV|
Volkanovski Looks For Three-Fight Sweep Against Holloway
Alexander The Great (11-0 UFC, 24-1 MMA) arguably has been UFC’s most dominant fighter at his division for nearly a decade. He has followed his solo career loss – all the way back in 2013 – with 21-straight victories. His fighting repertoire is deep, but the skills that have contributed most to his success have been his striking (12 wins by KO/TKO), cardio (nine wins by decision), and submission defense (zero losses by submission and 70% takedown defense).
Blessed Holloway (19-6 UFC, 23-6 MMA) was once in Volkanovski’s shoes. He became featherweight champion in 2017 and defended his title three times, as well as held a 13-fight win streak. He’s the sixth-ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world, despite not being a current champion.
The former champion’s first-class boxing skills have awarded him 10 wins by KO/TKO, along with 11 wins by decision. He has lost by stoppage one time, going back 10 years.
Each fighter has won two fights since Act 2 in 2020, and they’ll face each other one last time. With the first two meetings having reached the judges’ decision, bettors can expect prop lines to be priced accordingly.
We’ll offer predictions on UFC 276 on this page as fight night approaches.
Sean O’Malley vs. Pedro Munhoz
Fan-favorite bantamweight Sean O’Malley has made a name for himself at a fairly young age. The 27-year-old striking prodigy boasts a 15-1 record, with 11 wins coming from KO/TKO. “Sugar O’Malley” looks to build on his promising career with Pedro Munhoz up next. Those who favor the youngster can get him for as cheap as -240 on DraftKings Sportsbook, whereas Munhoz investors can grab the underdog at +210 on BetMGM Sportsbook.
Other Fights On The Card
Lines on the UFC 276 card are pretty tight, with only one fighter in the prelims and main card listed with odds longer than +195 – that being Cannonier (+280). Bettors looking for a big underdog can turn towards 185-pounder Uriah Hall, who’s catching +195 odds in his date with Andre Muniz.
The tightest odds can be found in two separate fights. A middleweight bout between Alex Pereira (-120) and Sean Strickland (+100), as well as a welterweight bout between Robbie Lawler (-120) and Bryan Barberena (+100), are both near pick ’ems.