One of the biggest fight cards of the year played out last night (Sat., July 2, 2022) at UFC 276 live on ESPN+ PPV from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, as some of the greatest fighters in the sport were on display. From a jam-packed “Prelims” lineup to a bulked-up main card, UFC 276 delivered a variety of meaningful storylines and outcomes.
Let’s take a look at the most important ones of all:
Volkanovski Is A Runaway Train
There was a reason why Alexander Volkanovski was favored to defeat Max Holloway for a third time at UFC 276 and retain his undisputed UFC featherweight title. The 33-year-champion hasn’t lost since stepping into the Octagon back in 2016 and has looked better and better every time we see him. But to dismantle a fired-up and extremely hungry Holloway over the course of five rounds at UFC 276 really showed the level that Volkanovski has reached.
While many will talk about Kamaru Usman and Israel Adesanya dominating their respective divisions and being some of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport today Volkanovski is sometimes left out of that discussion. It could be because his second fight with Holloway was so close, but now we know “The Great” is hands down one of the best in the world today. He doesn’t look to be slowing down and if he doesn’t make a move up to lightweight to claim another title he may reign over the featherweight division for years to come.
Adesanya Needs To Be More Aggressive
Israel Adesanya did what he was supposed to do at UFC 276 and defended his middleweight title for a fifth-straight time against Jared Cannonier in the main event. Adesanya was sharp, patient, and never really put himself in trouble by Cannonier’s patented knockout power.
However, Adesanya is one of the best strikers to ever grace the Octagon. He is one of the most decorated kickboxers to ever crossover into the sport of MMA. If “Last Stylebender” has 25 minutes standing with a one-dimensional striker like Cannonier he should be able to do more damage and work for a finish. That’s not to say Adesanya didn’t try to put Cannonier out at UFC 276, but the champion has now won his last three title defenses via decision. Fight fans might be expecting more from one of the greatest strikers in UFC history.
Lawler Should Pull A ‘Cowboy’
Donald Cerrone left his gloves in the Octagon last night at UFC 276 after suffering a submission loss to fellow UFC legend Jim Miller. It was Cerrone’s sixth loss out of his last seven trips to the cage and a perfect time to hang it up and step away from the sport. The writing was simply on the wall and some even expected former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler to follow Cerrone into retirement after his knockout loss to Bryan Barberena on the UFC 276 main card.
Lawler, who is one of the best welterweight fighters of the past decade, simply isn’t himself anymore. The once-feared striker has lost five out of his last six trips to the Octagon. His only win over the past five years was a TKO stoppage over Nick Diaz, who was returning after a six-year hiatus from the sport. It hasn’t been good.
To put things in perspective, Barberena only has three UFC knockouts under his belt, having stopped Jake Ellenberger, Joe Ellenberger, and Joe Proctor. All three of those fighters retired from the sport after their respective losses to “Bam Bam” so maybe it’s only fitting that Lawler follows suit.
For complete UFC 276 results and coverage click here.