With Dricus Du Plessis disinterested in fighting Israel Adesanya just eight weeks after beating Robert Whittaker at UFC 290, there’s a lot of Middleweight conenders vying for a shot against “The Last Stylebender” when he fights in Sydney, Australia, at UFC 293.
Adesanya suggested it’d be Sean Strickland getting the call. And Strickland has said he wants that fight ... but he also wants to get paid for it. Will UFC be willing to sweeten the pot for what is arguably a gift title shot? If the promotion balks, perhaps Jared Cannonier is the man Dana White and Co. call next.
In a new interview with Helen Yee, Cannonier said he’d be a better choice because he’d actually show up “Down Under” ready to fight and win against Adesanya.
“Well, Sean doesn’t even believe he can win that fight, you know,” Cannonier said. “He just wants to go in there and fight and get some money. I believe I can win that fight so I think that’s a big difference between me and a lot of these other guys.
“Izzy’s not an easy fight and the way those styles match up,” he continued. “I don’t think Sean will be able to work his jab, his funky a— footwork, his ability to evade shots, I think [Adesanya] is way too long, he’s a sniper. And he is too diverse, he is too versatile with his striking, and I don’t think Sean’s grappling is good enough to make it a factor, to make it competitive.”
Unfortunately, Cannonier already shot his shot against Adesanya one year ago at UFC 276. “Killa Gorilla” was not aggressive at all and the fight was widely panned as a dud. Not only is there very little desire from fans for a rematch, we doubt Izzy is looking to rematch Cannonier so soon after that last said dud.
It’s all imperfect choices at the moment for Adesanya with Du Plessis healing from an injured foot (and just looking to enjoy himself after his big win over Whittaker). If the New Zealand fighter is going to pick someone, it’s likely to be someone new ... and someone he can put a show on against.
Neither of those exactly describes Cannonier.
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