UFC 276

Five Under-The-Radar Storylines For UFC 276

It is International Fight Week 2022, and the UFC has spoiled us with a completely stacked card, from the first prelim to the main event of UFC 276. Speaking of the main event, Israel Adesanya takes number one contender Jared Cannonier in his fifth title defense.

The co-main event of the evening, the trilogy between Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway finally goes down. However, if you look past the main and co-main event, there are some under-the-radar storylines.

Order and watch UFC 276 by clicking the banner image below

UFC 276

Middleweight Number One Contender Fight

In the featured fight on the main card, No. 4 ranked Sean Strickland takes on unranked Alex Pereira in a number one contender fight. While the UFC hasn’t come out and said that it’s pretty obvious what they are doing. They set up Adesanya with his next opponent at UFC 271, and they are doing it again. Strickland is riding a six-fight win streak, and if he wins, he gets the shot, mainly because he is in a lose-lose situation. If he beats Pereira, cool, he beat someone with six MMA fights. If he loses, he loses all the momentum he has gained over the last two years, and he lost to someone with six fights.

If Pereira wins on Saturday…the story is written. He beat Adesanya twice in kickboxing, and in their last fight, he knocked him out cold. Their third fight in MMA would be awesome, and it could give Adesanya some closure.

Jalin Turner gets his wish

After Jalin Turner knocked out Jamie Mullarkey at UFC 272 during his post-fight press conference interview with the media, there was one name that kept popping up – his opponent this weekend, Brad Riddell. (I’m going to take credit because I asked him about the fight, but it’s neither here nor there) Turner gets his shot at the top 15 rankings riding a four-fight win streak while still holding his 100% finish rate. Riddell will defend his No. 14 ranking as he tries to get back in the win column after suffering his first UFC loss.

Banger of the week

The last fight I talked about could easily be the banger of the week, but come on, it’s Robbie Lawler vs. Bryan Barberena. That fight is straight violence. Lawler got back into the win column in his last outing, snapping a long losing streak when he finished Nick Diaz at UFC 266. If you know one thing about Lawler, and he will probably say it in his pre-fight interviews, “I come to fight.” Barberena will meet Lawler in the middle of the octagon and throw down. He is coming off a split decision win over UFC legend Matt Brown and is riding a two-fight win streak. There is a reason the UFC brought this fight up from the prelims. They know it’s going to be a fun ass fight.

Sean O’Malley’s biggest test

Sean O’Malley is finally fighting a ranked opponent and has a chance to crack the top 10 with a win. He faces Pedro Munhoz, who is a huge step up. O’Malley has looked tremendous since being stopped by Chito Vera in 2020. ‘Suga’ signed a new contract; with that, he is more motivated than ever. He plans to be the first person to knock ‘Prelim Pedro’ out, which is a tough ask. Munhoz has fought the who’s who of the bantamweight division and is known to be tough. If O’Malley can get through Munhoz at UFC 276, he can be in title contention by the middle of 2023.

Ranked middleweights on the prelims

UFC 276 is so loaded that two top 15 middleweights are on the early prelims. No. 9 Uriah Hall takes on No. 13, Andre Muniz. Hall will be looking to bounce back from his lackluster loss to Strickland last July. Prior to that, he was riding a four-fight win streak with three stoppage wins. Muniz has been on an absolute tear so far in his UFC career. His last three wins have all been first-round submissions and in one of those wins, he broke Jacare Souza’s arm. With a win over Hall, he will really announce his presence to the rest of the division.

Do Not Sell My Personal Information