Sunday, May 22, 2022

Israel Adesanya Pleaded With Jared Cannonier To Beat Derek Brunson

UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya has revealed the encouragement he gave to top contender Jared Cannonier ahead of UFC 271.

Two of this weekend’s biggest fights on pay-per-view saw crucial middleweight clashes go down. While the reigning king ran it back with former rival Robert Whittaker in the main event, top-five veterans Cannonier and Derek Brunson collided earlier in the night, with a title shot seemingly on the line.

Towards the end of the opening round, it appeared the undefeated run of “Blonde” Brunson was set to continue. But after the round-ending horn cut short a rear-naked choke attempt, the tide turned.

“The Killa Gorilla” came out in the second and made the most of his stand-up advantage. After one early shot appeared to affect Brunson’s movement and posture, Cannonier went in for the kill.

With a vicious elbow and clean backhand, the #3-ranked 185lber rocked his counterpart and sent him to the ground. From there, some sickening elbows signaled the end.

Adesanya Gets His Fresh Meat

While predictions were largely split heading into the contest, with many backing Brunson’s previous form and five-fight win streak, one man was firmly supporting Cannonier on fight night—that man being the champ.

Having already faced and defeated Brunson on his way to the title in 2018, as well as dispatching most other contenders in the weight class, “The Last Stylebender” favored the idea of facing a fresh challenge next.

During his appearance at the UFC 271 post-fight press conference, which came after he successfully defended the middleweight gold for the fourth time, Adesanya revealed the encouragement he gave Cannonier during fight week.

“I just saw bits and pieces. I think he even got rocked. I saw he got taken down, and then he elbowed Brunson. And so I didn’t really take stock. I’ll go back and watch the fight later on and see what it is,” said Adesanya. “But he made a statement. And I even told him after the weigh-ins, I said, ‘Look, please take this guy out so I can get some fresh meat.’ And he said, ‘Bro, I’m trying to work.’ I said, ‘Me, too.’ So I’m a man of my word.”

With apparent post-fight confirmation from all parties, including UFC President Dana White, it seems Adesanya’s next challenger is locked in. Targeting a June return, “The Last Stylebender” looks set to have the chance to add another name to his résumé in the form of Cannonier.

Would you like to see Israel Adesanya’s Next Fight be against Jared Cannonier?

Related Articles
Related Articles