Middleweight contender Jared Cannonier will try to cash in later tonight (Sat., May 11, 2019) at UFC 237 live on ESPN+ PPV from inside Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, when he squares off with MMA legend and former UFC champion Anderson Silva in the co-main event.
This will undoubtedly be the biggest fight of Cannonier’s career. “Killa Gorilla” has seen the likes of Glover Teixeira, David Branch, and Dominick Reyes throughout his UFC tenure, but never anyone quite as unique as Silva. Cannonier’s recent TKO win over Branch in his 185-pound debut suggests he could be ready for a serious run at middleweight, but the 35-year-old needs to prove himself tonight before looking up the divisional ladder.
“This will be my ninth fight,” Cannonier told MMA Junkie earlier this week. “I’m not flamboyant or anything like that. I’m not going to sit here and think of an answer and figure out what is going to make the people say ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh,’ and I’m not here to please the crowd. I’m here purely to please myself. I love to fight, I love to train, I love doing it on the biggest stage in the world, too. That’s a blessing right there.
“Again, my goal is wins on top of wins on top of wins, which will eventually lead to a belt, which will, sooner rather than later, lead to my ultimate goal, which is financial liberation.”
Cannonier, who has competed on a main card in his last two Octagon outings, will be making his first co-main event appearance under the UFC banner later tonight in Brazil. That creates some added pressure for a fighter-on-the-rise like “Killa Gorilla,” especially considering he’s taking on a Brazilian hero like Silva.
“Just fighting him is bringing a lot of attention,” Cannonier said. “But beating him is going to bring a whole lot more attention. What else it could potentially bring me closer to a fight, especially a dominant performance over a guy like that is definitely going to raise some eyebrows.
“I’ve said it before. The UFC definitely already sees the potential. It’s just a matter of figuring out what that potential is for everyone else, and I know what that potential is. You know that’s me sitting at the very tip top of the hill.”
If Cannonier is able to build off his TKO win over Branch and do the same thing to “Spider” later tonight at UFC 237 it should quickly launch him further up the middleweight rankings. From there, Cannonier should be given plenty of opportunities to punch his way into title contention and prove that he’s a more consistent fighter than when he was competing at light heavyweight and heavyweight.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 237 fight card below, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET, before the ESPN+ PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.