Israel Adesanya excited for fresh contender Jared Cannonier at UFC 276: ‘It’s new blood, and I feel like a vampire right now’


Israel Adesanya excited about UFC 276, because he has a new opponent.

This weekend, Adesanya puts his middleweight title on the line against Jared Cannonier in the main event of UFC 276. After fighting rematches for his previous two title defenses, against Robert Whittaker and Marvin Vettori, Adesanya now faces a fresh opponent for the first time in over a year, and it’s one he’s had his eye one. Adesanya spoke about potentially fighting Cannonier back in 2019, but Cannonier ended up losing to Whittaker, delaying his rise to a title contention. Cannonier won in February against Derek Brunson, which gave him his chance. The champion middleweight explained why Cannonier stood out.

“His spirit. At the UFC 276 media day, Adesanya spoke of his fighting spirit and essence. Because I am an empath, I recognize this because I feel the energy of a great fighter and great man. I like to take care of these guys. You know me, I call out all the greats, and I saw that in him early on before you guys did, and I tried to boost him up. He failed once, but then he came back to prove his worth and be the next competitor.”

With a 5-1 record at middleweight, Cannonier currently holds the No. 4 spot in the MMA Fighting Global Middleweight Rankings and is a legitimate contender for the title. That being said, the middleweight champion doesn’t believe “The Killa Gorilla” will offer him too much trouble. Mostly, he’s just happy to have a new challenge.

“I don’t feel [that he poses a threat]. Adesanya stated that he feels like a threat in the same manner as all of my previous opponents. They keep talking about power. ‘Power power power power.’ Have you ever heard this before? You can power this or that. You’re listening to the same song. F****** get it off repeat, get me a new song. It’s just that I am glad to have fresh blood in the fight. So yeah, it’s time to eat…

“I feel like a vampire, it’s my new blood. I’m dark. I know that my people know what to do when it comes time for this camp fight week, and how we are in the current timeline. So yea, new blood. It’s good to have new blood. The last two, the Vettori one I got bored, the Robert one I was waiting a little bit and I didn’t like that from my performance. It’s a pleasure to meet new people and to be able to step up to the challenge. This is the main difference between him and me. I am used to being in the limelight. All this s ***. is something I am used to. He’s not. It’s a new experience for him. It feels like he is mature and manly enough to deal with it. But not like me.”

And given his level of confidence, when it finally comes time to make the walk at UFC 276, Adesanya said that fans can expect another showcase performance.

” “I think this one is going to be remembered because I love to make things memorable,” Adesanya stated. “You know how I do. I put this on myself so that way I know — pressure makes diamonds, and when you put that pressure on me, when I put that pressure on myself, I will shine like a diamond.”

UFC 276 will be held this Saturday in Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena.