Middleweight contender Jared Cannonier believes Robert Whittaker utilized a “dirty” technique during his win over Darren Till at UFC Fight Island 3. The former 185lb champion landed several oblique kicks on the knee of Till which has left the Englishman with terrible injuries which are likely to leave him on the side-lines for at least six months.
Cannonier will face off against Whittaker at UFC 254 in October. He spoke to Ariel Helwani ahead of the fight and explained to the veteran MMA reporter why he is not a fan fo the controversial kick Whittaker utilized against Till, he said.
“I know he uses that oblique kick to the knee. I’m not a big fan of that technique. That is career-altering, career-changing technique. I am not a big fan of it. I’m not saying we should ban it or anything like that. You know this is the martial arts. That being said I’m not a big fan of it. I don’t use it personally because I know how dangerous it is. If I use it, you best have your next year of your life planned out.”
Helwani asked Cannonier why not ban the oblique kick, he replied.
“I’m not advocating for banning it. I’m not gonna say I wouldn’t say ‘yeah get rid of the technique’ if the argument arose. I would rather it not be in the UFC. In football you can’t knee spike, you cant dive for the knees. You can’t collar tie there’s certain things you can’t don’t. This is a sport in the UFC. This isn’t just fighting. People want to keep it as pure as they want to but as far as the sport goes you want to preserve the fighters as much as possible. You don’t want them to get hurt in the manner that they will be on the sidelines.”
Cannonier warned Whittaker that he faces serious repercussions should he attempt to use the oblique kick on him.
“Back to the technique – I don’t like it. I wouldn’t be sad if I never seen it again,” Cannonier said. “If you do it to me, I’m already in the game to try and hurt my opponents and try to do damage and try to finish the fight. If you use that technique on me I’m going to liken it to a dirty technique. You are trying to gouge my eyes, you trying to kick me in the nuts, you trying to check my oil which is a major violation right there (laughs). Trying to stomp my knee is a major violation as well and I’m going to make you pay for it right then and there on the money with a smile on my face. Don’t think I’m going to get mad about it. I aint going to get mad I’m going to get your ass back. It’s going to be major implications for anyone who wants to use that technique on me. That being said I know Rob uses that technique. So the door is open. It can be a clean finish or a savage mauling.”
Do you agree with Jared Cannonier? Is the oblique kick to the knee a dirty technique?