Jared Cannonier returned with a vengeance at UFC Vegas 75 last night (Sat., June 17, 2023), putting on a dominating fight against Marvin Vettori that earned him a unanimous decision win and $50,000 in “Fight of the Night” bonus money.
The performance was a far cry from his last two fights where “The Killa Gorilla” fought very tentatively. In his previous bout against Sean Strickland, he eked out a split decision win. The time before that, he was panned heavily for his Middleweight title fight against Israel Adesanya.
Indeed, not much happened in that fight, which saw both men largely refuse to engage.
After a first round that saw Vettori win 10-9 on all three judges’ scorecards, Cannonier turned up the heat and earned 10-8 cards in the second round. From there, he ran away with the fight, winning the third, fourth and fifth rounds.
In the end, he broke the Middleweight record for most significant strikes landed (241). That had Adesanya shocked, given Cannonier’s inaction during their bout.
Bro…— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) June 18, 2023
“Bro...” he wrote on Twitter after Cannonier had his hand raised.
Fellow Middleweight contender, Robert Whittaker, was also surprised at what we saw from Cannonier.
“I picked Cannonier to win this fight, but I didn’t pick this Cannonier,” he said during ESPN’s post-fight show. “I didn’t envision seeing this pressure fighter Cannonier who just crowds and closing the gap. You saw during the fight Cannonier had Marvin’s hands a lot of the times because he was that close. I didn’t pick him coming out with this approach but it obviously worked to great effect.”
Cannonier has made it clear he’s fighting to get to a title shot, but that will be difficult given the way his last fight with Adesanya went. Playing it strategic and trying to edge a decision over Adesanya may be a legit gameplan to defeat “The Last Stylebender,” but Cannonier didn’t hit that sweet spot where he was doing just a bit more than Izzy.
The fans panned their fight and we doubt Adesanya is eager to have a repeat of their fight. However, a few more record-breaking performances like Saturday’s against Vettori might change some minds.
For complete UFC Vegas 75 results, coverage and highlights click HERE.