Israel Adesanya got a game challenge from Jared Cannonier at UFC 276 but once again demonstrated that there are levels to MMA.
And when it comes to the middleweight division, Adesanya remains above and beyond the best.
Adesanya produced a tactical fight en route to a unanimous decision victory over Cannonier at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night to retain his middleweight world championship. Judges scored it 49-46, 49-46, and 50-45 in favor of Adesanya, who recorded his fifth title defense.
Having ran through many quality names in the division by now, Adesanya didn't waste time shifting his focus to Alex Pereira, who delivered a scintillating knockout of Sean Strickland earlier in the pay-per-view main card.
Pereira sports two victories over Adesanya during their kickboxing days, but "The Last Stylebender" warned that a UFC fight will go very differently.
Although Adesanya felt Cannonier's power at times, he kept the challenger on the receiving end of a crisp, precise jab over large stretches of the fight. Those jabs would turn into piercing combinations at the times as Adesanya controlled the real estate in the Octagon with superiority. Cannonier managed to press Adesanya up against the cage several times but failed to inflict any damage due to the champion's savvy defense.
Adesanya wasn't the only champion successful at UFC 276, as teammate Alexander Volkanovski produced a masterclass domination of Max Holloway to retain his featherweight title in their trilogy fight, which served as the co-feature of the card.
Here's how the entire UFC 276 pay-per-view main card went.