Former title challenger and current no. 3 ranked middleweight contender Jared Cannonier has his eyes set on the top of his division following victory over no. 7 ranked Sean Strickland last night at UFC Vegas 66.
Cannonier defeated Strickland via split decision in the main event of the evening, with the scoring totals reading 49-46, 46-49, and 49-46. The scorecards were all over the place last night, and not one of the five rounds they fought was universally agreed upon by the judges.
It was a very close fight.
Nonetheless, now that Cannonier is back in the win column, he has his sights set on either a title fight, or a no. 1 contender fight:
“I definitely thought I won at least three of the five rounds. I felt confident that I won three out of five rounds. On top of that, I felt confident that I won the fight in general,” Cannonier stated in his post-fight interview.
“I would say he’s (Sean Strickland) good at what he does. He’s really good at moving forward, putting that jab out there, and then getting out of the way. If I gave him the look like, ‘Here I come,’ he was already aware, primed, and either ready to counter with his check hook or whatever combination he was going to throw, or just move away and avoid it all together.
“But that was one thing we had been working on leading up to the (Israel) Adesanya fight, entering on our opponents without getting overextended, and once you get in, then you can start opening up with the big strikes that I love so much.”
Cannonier continued: “If not a title shot, hopefully the contender’s match. That’s what I would hope for. Either a title shot to begin 2023 or the fight that gets me a title shot in middle or late 2023. A contender’s fight. So as long as they say, ‘You fight this person and it’s a contender’s fight. You get a title shot after this one,’ alright, let’s do it.”
Many people were displeased with the scorecards in last nights main event, believing that Strickland had done enough to secure the victory. But, it was one of those fights where not a single round was that awfully decisive.
Assuming the UFC books Pereira vs Adesanya IV for their next middleweight title fight, which they probably will, who would you like to see Jared Cannonier face for the no. 1 contender spot?
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