UFC 276: Adesanya vs Cannonier – Prelims predictions

The UFC returns to the T-Mobile Arena for UFC 276 for a double-header title fight event in what looks like one of the best cards of the year.

In the main event middleweight champion Israel Adesanya defends his title against ‘Tha Killa Gorilla’ Jared Cannonier, while Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway go head-to-head for a third time for the featherweight title in the co-main event.

We’ll also see the likes of Sean Strickland and Alex Pereira face off, while all of Robbie Lawler, Sean O’Malley, Maycee Barber, Brad Riddell, Jalin Turner and Dricus Du Plessis will all fight too.

We’ve had a few weeks off for picks due to a holiday, but our last time out at UFC 275 saw us go 7/11 with five perfect picks, moving us to 635/987 (64.33%) with 273 perfect picks (42.99%). You can view our full picks record here.

We’ll look to improve on that here and after starting with the early prelims, we move on to the rest of the prelim picks.


Brad Tavares (19-7) vs Dricus Du Plessis (16-2) – (Middleweight/185lbs)

A really fun middleweight bout up next on this stacked card. Tavares is on a two-fight win streak after earning decisions against Antonio Carlos Jr (UFC 257) and Omari Akhmedov (UFC 264), while Du Plessis is on a four-fight win streak including winning both of his UFC bouts against Markus Perez and Trevin Giles via knockout.

Tavares is a boxer who uses thunderous leg kicks to hurt his opponents and works his jab well to maintain distance and keep his volume up. Du Plessis on the other hand is a powerful striker who likes to use his wrestling game to get top position and work a dominant ground and pound game.

It’s unlikely that game will find the success it usually does here, because Tavares has got excellent takedown defence. He stands tall, keeps his balance and uses his strength well. But on the feet however, Du Plessis is usually able to cause chaos and that suits him. “Stillknocks” has got a lethal left hook and his kicking game is solid too, and considering Tavares has been KO’d three times in the past I expect him to get caught with one of those big left hands to close the show early.
PICK – Dricus Du Plessis via Knockout, Round 2

Ian Garry (9-0) vs Gabe Green (11-3) – (Welterweight/170lbs)

The next Irish hope is back for another UFC pay-per-view bout. Garry is an undefeated prospect and has won both of his UFC bouts to date, knocking out Jordan Williams (UFC 268) and then earning a unanimous decision against Darian Weeks. Green on the other hand is on a two-fight win streak earning a decision over Phillip Rowe (UFC 258) and then knocking out Yohan Lainesse most recently.

Garry is a brilliant kickboxer with incredibly fast counter strikes, and great power and accuracy reminiscent of his idol Conor McGregor. He has solid takedown defence too and is capable of working off his back if needs be too. Green alternatively is a powerhouse who likes to use aggression to cause damage, but he’s got problems in this match up. His wrestling is iffy, his takedown defence is poor and while he has great power in his hands he tends to lead with his chin.

That type of stylistic match up is a problem for Green, because Garry will use his movement and counters perfectly to land heavy shots and test the chin. If that doesn’t work, he has his judo black belt to fall back on too. Green could catch him clean and end it, but it’s far more likely that Garry does that to him.
PICK – Ian Garry via Knockout, Round 1



Jim Miller (34-16) vs Donald Cerrone (36-16) – (Welterweight/170lbs)

Two old school veterans going head-to-head on short notice for the right to say they have the most wins in UFC history. Miller is on a two-fight win streak earning back-to-back knockouts against Erick Gonzalez and Nikolas Motta, while Cerrone is winless in his last six fights with five losses and a no contest (originally a draw). Cerrone steps in on two week’s notice and goes up to welterweight for this fight.

Miller is a wizard in the jiu-jitsu world with 18 career submission wins, but he’s got a lot of new-found power since the first time these two fought in 2014. Cerrone is a technical striker who also has great jiu-jitsu skills, but it’s his body kicks that do the most damage to his opponents. The problem for ‘Cowboy’ is that he simply doesn’t have a chin anymore.

As soon as he gets hit flush he seems to react badly and curl up, and Miller has got a new love for landing heavy strikes accurately on his opponent’s chin. At 170lbs Cowboy definitely has the size advantage, but he should’ve retired already at this point and I think Miller puts an exclamation point on the end of his career here.
PICK – Jim Miller via Knockout, Round 1

Brad Riddell (10-2) vs Jalin Turner (12-5) – (Lightweight/155lbs)

Absolute banger in the lightweight division is the featured prelim bout of this card. Riddell saw a seven-fight win streak snapped last time out when he was knocked out by Rafael Fiziev at UFC Vegas 44, while Turner is on a four-fight win streak and knocked Jamie Mullarkey out cold in his last outing at UFC 272.

Riddell is an amazing kickboxer, working as the head coach at Tiger Muay Thai once upon a time. He has got explosive power, brilliant dexterity in his kicks and his movement is exceptional too. Turner however is a powerhouse. He has got some solid wrestling skills in his back pocket, but it’s his terrifying one-punch power that has his opponents on notice. He’s also a tidy grappler too. This will be about who lands clean first, and I can’t look past Turner.

“Quake” is a notoriously slow starter, preferring to download data from a distance before working his combinations from inside. If he can survive the opening five minutes then the fight is his to lose, but Turner is unlikely to give him that for free. His huge frame will see him make it really difficult for Riddell and I think he’ll be able to land big and then his amazing finishing instincts take over to claim a huge win.
PICK – Jalin Turner via Knockout, Round 1

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