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Jared Cannonier reveals timeline for UFC return, won’t back down from Paulo Costa

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UFC 254: Whittaker v Cannonier Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender Jared Cannonier broke his arm in the first round of his Robert Whittaker fight in the UFC 254 pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event last month on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.

The early injury helped contribute to a unanimous decision loss.

But “Killa Gorilla” could be back inside the cage as early as March, depending on how well his recovery goes, and has already set his sights on a couple of big names in the 185-pound division, including Paulo Costa and Darren Till.

“I expect when I come back to be in a position right where I was,” Cannonier told MMA Junkie. “You know what I’m saying? Right where I left off, one more fight earns me a title shot. Of course (Paulo) Costa, Darren Till, all those guys – all those top 10 guys who are making moves to get into the position to get a shot at the title. When I get back, it’s going to be a better version of what you guys saw and could’ve potentially seen Oct. 24.”

The loss to Whittaker snapped a three-fight winning streak for the “Killa Gorilla.”

Cannonier (13-5) is currently ranked No. 3 at 185 pounds and with Whittaker (22-5) already sitting above him at No. 1, the next closest contenders are Costa (No. 2) and Jack Hermansson (No. 4), though “The Joker” is already booked to face Kevin Holland next month in Las Vegas.

Paging Darren Till ...