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Jared Cannonier passes on potential Khamzat Chimaev fight: ‘He’s not even ranked’

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA — Jared Cannonier only wants to fight someone ranked above him.

Cannonier picked up a big win in UFC Vegas 75’s main event last night (Sat., Jun 17, 2023), defeating Marvin Vettori via unanimous decision from inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. “The Killa Gorilla” set the Middleweight record for the most significant strikes landed in a fight (249), while also picking up “Fight of the Night.”

At 39 years old, Cannonier only wants to fight someone ahead of him in the Middleweight rankings to get him closer to a second crack at the title. However, at the moment, the 185-pound division is clogged, so there isn’t a clear next challenger.

During UFC Vegas 75’s post-fight press conference (watch here), Cannonier was asked by if he would be willing to welcome Khamzat Chimaev to the division. He passed on the idea if it doesn’t get him a title shot.

“Does that fight give me a title shot? I don’t know, he’s not even ranked in middleweight,” Cannonier said. “So I mean, I know he’s popular. Everybody wants to see him do his thing and stuff like that. If they call me and say, ‘Hey, how’s that for contenders match?’ That’s a, ‘yes.’

“I’m trying to get to the title,” he continued. “I’m not just fighting to entertain you people. You know what I mean? I know you guys want to see it. I know it will be a good fight. If that fight gets me the title shot, yes. I just beat number three. I’m not looking back. I’m looking forward. I’m looking at the champion. So if Dana [White] and Hunter [Campbell] say [Chimaev is] between you and a champion, then that’s something we can talk about. But if you saying would you fight Khamzat and welcome in and division, I’m like, does that give me to the title? That’s the question I’d have for you.”

Cannonier makes a point about Chimaev not being in the rankings; however, a win over the undefeated fighter could be enough to push the former Middleweight title challenger close to a second shot at Israel Adesanya.

The problem is no one knows when Chimaev will fight again. Hopefully, he returns at UFC 284 in Abu Dhabi, but nothing is confirmed. Chimaev is coming off a first round mauling of Kevin Holland at UFC 279.

For complete UFC Vegas 75 results, coverage and highlights click HERE.

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