Ever since his win over Anderson Silva, UFC middleweight Jared Cannonier has struggled to book an opponent.
Cannonier made it two finishes in a row since moving down to 185 pounds when he defeated Silva via TKO at UFC 237 last month in Brazil. He had previously knocked out David Branch, and his performances seem to have made an impact as he claims he is getting turned down by a number of middleweights.
Appearing on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday, “The Killa Gorilla” revealed there were even plans for him to headline the upcoming UFC San Antonio card on July 20 — only to be turned down by four middleweights.
“From my perspective, we are all fighters, we all have a job to do,” Cannonier said. “Picking and choosing fights is one thing I’ve never done. I’ll fight whoever comes along. I understand people have to consider their career if they want to get to a title shot and all that stuff, but, you know, in this division if you want to get to a title shot, you’re gonna have to meet me eventually.
“The longer you wait, the worse it’s going to be. So you better come see me now or wait until it’s going to be damn near impossible to beat me.”
Cannonier Wants Gastelum
In the end, the UFC decided to book a welterweight headliner between Rafael dos Anjos and Leon Edwards for the San Antonio card. And to his credit, Cannonier decided not to name any of the four opponents who turned him down. However, he does have one opponent in mind where a win could usher him into a title shot:
“I heard a little birdie tell me that one Kelvin Gastelum is looking to fight at the end or the middle of September, I think in Mexico City,” Cannonier added. “So that would be a good fight. That fight would put me closer to a title shot.
“[Israel] Adesanya just fought him, beat him for the interim title. So he’s next in line. But before that, Adesanya fought Anderson. I beat Anderson in a more impressive fashion.“
Gastelum is coming off a back-and-forth war with Adesanya at UFC 236 in April. However, he should be raring to go by September. Cannonier is not the only one who wants him, though, as the likes of Jack Hermansson and Ronaldo Souza have also called out the former welterweight.