Incumbent UFC middleweight kingpin, Israel ‘The Last Stylebender’ Adesanya – is certainly eager to test his ability opposite surging 185-pound contender, Jared ‘The Killa Gorilla’ Cannonier, ahead of both men’s respective Octagon outings on ‘Fight Island’ between this weekend and October.
Undefeated striking ace, Adesanya must first get through fellow untested knockout artist, Paulo ‘The Eraser’ Costa – with the pair headlining the promotion’s second trip to Abu Dhabi this annum on Saturday night. Taking main card honours at UFC 254 on October 24th. – surging challenger, Cannonier looks to earn his first promotional title challenge off the back of an impressive victory over one-time division best, and soon to be common-foe with Adesanya, Robert ‘The Reaper’ Whittaker.
Speaking on media day ahead of this weekend’s highly-anticipated card – Adesanya singled out former heavyweight, Cannonier as an interesting challenge next – claiming the latter will “destroy” former champion, Whittaker in a month’s time.
“After I pick up this victory, I already kinda set the stage for the next one for a guy I have in mind, I want (Jared) Cannonier,” Adesanya said. “I’m not looking past Paulo (Costa), I’m just setting up the stage ’cause I feel like Cannonier’s gonna destroy Robert Whittaker or dominant him, so. I already told Cannonier if he does that, he’s next in line.”
36-year-old Dallas native, Cannonier has won three consecutively at middleweight since his drop to the division back in November of 2018. Expected to serve as backup for the forgettable title clash of Adesanya and Yoel Romero at UFC 248 in March of this year, he was ultimately sidelined after suffering a pectoral tear.
Making big waves at 185-pounds, Cannonier knocked out former two-weight WSOF gold holder, David Branch, at UFC 230 – before chopping down middleweight icon, Anderson Silva at UFC 237 with brutal leg kicks in the opening round. Headlining UFC Fight Night Copenhagen in September of last year, Cannonier stopped grappling ace, Jack ‘The Joker’ Hermansson with strikes in the second frame.