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Last Updated Jul 03, 2022, 12:19 AM

UFC 276 Picks, Predictions, Odds

This is the most anticipated UFC event of 2022. People have been hyped for UFC 276 since the card was announced a couple months ago, as a lot of fan favorites will be in action and two titles will be on the line. UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya is a heavy favorite over challenger Jared Cannonier in the main event, and UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski is a moderate favorite over Max Holloway in the co-main event. Cannonier and Holloway will see a lot of action though as a lot of fans are hoping that both challengers can pull off the upset on Fourth of July Weekend.

Unfortunately, there was disappointing news last week as the bout between Miesha Tate and Lauren Murphy was pushed back a couple weeks after Murphy tested positive for COVID. Tate will likely be even more of a favorite when they meet at UFC on ABC: Ortega vs. Rodriguez on July 16.

UFC 276 will be held at T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada just off the Las Vegas Strip. The prelims will be broadcast on ABC, ESPN, and ESPN+ starting at 8 p.m. ET before the main event gets underway on PPV at 10 p.m. ET.

Israel Adesanya vs. Jared Cannonier Picks

The Last Stylebender is currently the No. 3 ranked fighter in the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings. Israel Adesanya has just one loss to his name as a professional MMA fighter, and that came when he moved up to Light Heavyweight for a title fight against Jan Blachowicz last year at UFC 259. Adesanya is a perfect 22-0 as a Middleweight though, and he has successfully defended the title four times since knocking out Robert Whittaker to claim the belt at UFC 243.

Adesanya has yet to be submitted or win a fight by submission, as he relies on his athleticism and power to overwhelm opponents. He has had success as both a boxer and a kickboxer, and few fighters have the same stamina as the champion. That’s why he is currently -400 to beat Jared Cannonier on Saturday night.

Cannonier struggled when he joined the UFC. He couldn’t find much success at Heavyweight or Light Heavyweight, but he has finally established himself after dropping down to Middleweight. Cannonier is 5-1 as a Middleweight in the UFC, and he has finished four of his five opponents inside of two rounds. We saw him in Performance of the Night bonuses for three of those victories, but he fell to Robert Whittaker at UFC 254 almost two years ago.

This is going to be a difficult fight for Cannonier. He does not have a strong ground game, and he is at a significant height and reach disadvantage. Adesanya is five inches taller than the challenger, and his reach is 2.5 inches longer with his leg reach being a full three inches longer. Look for the champion to continually punish the challenger with his feet while controlling the action on his way to a unanimous decision win.

To Win Fight: Israel Adesanya (-400)
Total Rounds: Over 4.5 (-125)

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Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway Picks

This will be the third time that Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway have squared off in the Octagon. Volkanovski stunned Holloway as a moderate underdog to win the UFC Featherweight Championship at UFC 245, and he won a controversial split decision over Holloway while defending the belt for the first time seven months later. The champion had no trouble with Brian Ortega or Chan Sung Jung in his two most recent title defenses, setting up a rematch with Holloway.

Holloway looked like he might surpass Jose Aldo as the greatest UFC Featherweight Champion in the promotion’s history. He beat Aldo twice to claim and then defend the title in 2017, and he won an electric fight with Brian Ortega at UFC 231. Although he failed to beat Dustin Poirier when he moved up to Lightweight to challenge for that belt, he easily controlled the action against Frankie Edgar after dropping back down to Featherweight.

It was clear that Holloway didn’t prepare well for Volkanovski in their first fight as Volkanovski continually stymied Holloway with leg kicks. Volkanovski used those to some effectiveness in their second fight too, but Holloway responded earlier instead of waiting until it was too late and nearly won the bout.

Holloway seemed to finally figure out Volkanovski in the last meeting, so he is the play in this bout. Holloway has a major advantage when it comes to the reach of his legs, and he should look to exploit that more than he did in the past. 

To Win Fight: Alexander Volkanovski (-188)
Total Rounds: Over 4.5 (-225)

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Sean Strickland vs. Alex Pereira Picks

Former KOTC Middleweight Championship title holder Sean Strickland is currently a slight underdog against Alex Pereira on Saturday night. Strickland has won his last six fights after an up-and-down start to his UFC career, and he defeated top ten foes Uriah Hall and Jack Hermansson in his last two bouts. The 31-year-old is very seasoned with 28 fights under his belt, yet the oddsmakers have made relative newcomer Alex Pereira the favorite in UFC 276.

Pereira was an outstanding kickboxer before joining the UFC. He made a memorable debut by earning a Performance of the Night bonus in his second round TKO of Andreas Michailidis at UFC 268, and he scored a unanimous decision over Bruno Silva in March. There is a lot of buzz surrounding Pereira due to his immense success as a kickboxer, but he might be getting a little too much respect considering he is now fighting at the highest level.

This is a solid price on a veteran fighter like Strickland. It’s usually good to go against hype in the UFC, and Strickland can make things difficult for Pereira although he is giving up a few inches in terms of height and reach.

To Win Fight: Sean Strickland (+100)
Total Rounds: Over 2.5 (+100)

Pedro Munhoz vs. Sean O’Malley Picks

There aren’t many fighters that are more entertaining than Sean O’Malley. The first thing you are drawn to is his wild hair, but his knockout power for a Bantamweight is really what carries the day. O’Malley is 15-1 in his professional career, and 11 of those wins have come by knockout. His last six fights have all been decided by knockout, and four of those bouts ended in the first round. That’s in stark contrast to what you see from most lighter fighters who constantly go to the cards.

Pedro Munhoz has been in the UFC for over eight years now. Munhoz has come close to challenging for a title, but he has never quite got to that point. He is now in danger of falling out of contention altogether though after losing four of his last five fights. However, four of his last six fights have resulted in Fight of the Night bonuses, so he has been known to bring the excitement too.

This has the potential to be the best fight of the night. Munhoz is likely to take more chances after going to the cards in five straight fights, and he should be ready to finish on his own terms as all seven of his career losses have come by decision. However, O’Malley has an incredible reach advantage, and that could lead to a big knockout.

To Win Fight: Sean O’Malley (-275)
Total Rounds: Under 2.5 (-110)

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Robbie Lawler vs. Bryan Barberena Picks

Fan favorite Robbie Lawler will also be in action on Saturday night. Lawler is the only fighter to win three consecutive Fight of the Year awards for his electrifying performances in the mid-2010s. The former UFC Welterweight Championship title holder is one of the most beloved active fighters in the UFC, and he broke a four-fight losing streak with a third round TKO of Nick Diaz at UFC 266 last year.

Bryan Barberena has won three of his last four fights. His last four bouts have all been decided by the judges, but 10 of his 17 wins have come by knockout. There’s no doubt that he would love to knock out Lawler as that could be a career-defining moment for the middling fighter, so don’t be shocked if he takes a few uncharacteristic chances here.

Although Lawler is an inch shorter, he has a slight reach advantage over Barberena. The decorated veteran isn’t afraid to stand and trade, and he will get the better of his counterpart. 

To Win Fight: Robbie Lawler (-125)
Total Rounds: Under 2.5 (+150)

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