UFC middleweight contender Jared Cannonier has explained why he’s not as excited for his first championship opportunity as his friends and family are.
After over seven years fighting in the Octagon, 13 appearances, five bonus-worthy performances, and three different weight classes, Cannonier is set for his first title shot next month.
Having secured number one contender status with back-to-back wins, the most recent of which saw him brutally finish Derek Brunson at UFC 271, “The Killa Gorilla” is set to challenge for Israel Adesanya‘s middleweight gold in the main event of UFC 276 on July 2.
While many fighters would be drinking in every moment ahead of their first championship fight on MMA’s biggest stage, Cannonier isn’t letting the occasion overwhelm him.
During a recent appearance on Submission Radio, the cool-headed Texas native described his upcoming battle with Adesanya as “just another fight” and the next step on a journey he always knew he’d be on.
With that in mind, and while his family, friends, and supporters’ excitement builds as fight night edges closer, Cannonier is focused on the task at hand.
“This is the only journey I’ve ever walked, so this is just normal to me. It’s just the normal journey,” said Cannonier. “I already knew when I got into this thing what I’m capable of. Being a realist, we all know it’s not gonna happen overnight. So, this is just a part of it, which is probably one of the reasons why I’m not as excited about this as most of my friends and family, and all the other fans are about this fight.
“For me, man, it’s just another fight. Again, all this stuff is at stake, but that’s just extra pressure if I concentrate on that,” Cannonier continued. “The only thing I’m concentrating on is being the best version of myself… and applying my mind to the task at hand, which is dethroning the champ.”
While Adesanya will enter his latest defense as a sizable favorite, which is understandable given his perfect middleweight record and victories over names like Robert Whittaker, Paulo Costa, and Marvin Vettori, “The Killa Gorilla” has the kind of power that has transcended from heavyweight down to middleweight.
With that said, Cannonier certainly can’t be counted out on July 2 in Las Vegas.
Do you think Jared Cannonier has what it takes to become the first man to defeat Israel Adesanya at middleweight?