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Adesanya calls it: ‘Fresh meat’ Jared Cannonier is next middleweight title challenger

After defeating Robert Whittaker for the second time, Israel Adesanya is looking to face someone new for the belt ... and he has Jared Cannonier in mind.

UFC 271 marked another title defense in the books for Middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, who decisioned Robert Whittaker 48–47, 48–47, and 49–46 on the judges scorecards. Some fans and fighters watching the bout saw things being much closer than the judges did, but at the post-fight press conference, “The Last Stylebender” sounded satisfied with the win (watch highlights here).

“Seven out of 10,” Adesanya declared. “Not bad. Good night in the office, good chess match.

“I heard he thought he won the fight or some s—t,” he continued. “I don’t know what he was sipping on, maybe it was Costa’s wine. But, f—king hell, he didn’t win that fight and he knows it. But same thing, he needs to go have a shower and reflect and realize that’s not true. You don’t ‘do enough to win the title.’ You take the belt. This is not how this works. ‘I did enough?’ No.”

Considering the animosity shown leading up to the first fight and repeated for the rematch, Adesanya had a lot of positive things to say about Whittaker following UFC 271.

“You have to respect the guy,” he said. “I never underestimated him, even though I knocked him out in the first fight, he’s dangerous. I know how dangerous he is. And like I said to you guys, he ran through everyone until he ran into me. And then he went back and beat three other guys and now he’s running into me again. I’m no easy feat to get one over on.”

As for a third fight now that Adesanya is 2-0 over Whittaker, Izzy sounded open to the concept.

“I said maybe, I said, ‘You rack up some good wins and I’m sure I’ll see you down the line,’” Adesanya revealed. “I say that just to, you know, pat him on the butt, ‘Aaah, good job kid.’ But we’ll see. The division’s full of killers and I’m looking forward to some fresh meat.”

Right now, the fresh meat Adesanya wants is Jared Cannonier, who knocked out Derek Brunson with some nasty elbows on the ground during UFC 271’s pay-per-view (PPV) main card.

“Fresh face, fresh meat, fresh look,” Adesanya told Laura Sanko backstage shortly after his win. “Because I’m starting to feel like Anderson Silva when he fought Thales Leites, Demian Maia. You know, you’re just too good for these guys. So yeah, I want some fresh meat and Jared Cannonier looks like it. I told Jared after the weigh-ins, ‘please take care of this guy [Brunson] so I can get some fresh meat.’ And I’m going to keep my word.”

UFC President, Dana White, confirmed that the champ would get what he wanted, although he wasn’t willing to lock in Adesanya’s request for a June turnaround.

“I’m not going to say no to Cannonier,” White said before addressing the schedule. “I don’t know. That’s another thing I love about that kid, he wants to fight all the time. So we’ll see what happens.”


For complete UFC 271: “Adesanya vs. Whittaker 2” results and play-by-play, click HERE.