Over the weekend, Jared Cannonier broke into the top ten of the UFC’s middleweight division in one fight. Cannonier stepped in to fight David Branch at UFC 230 from Madison Square Garden on pay-per-view (PPV). Having formerly competed at 205 pounds, “The Killa Gorilla” made his middleweight debut in New York City.
After losing two straight at light heavyweight, a change was in order. Upon stepping into the Octagon at middleweight, fans could tell Cannonier was extremely confident before throwing down with Branch. His confidence transitioned into dominance, as he put on a spectacular performance inside the cage. Cannonier finished Branch in the second round with a TKO. Speaking to MMA Junkie after the fight, Cannonier said he felt “full of energy” at middleweight.
Improving his physique for the camera was a bonus for him as well:
“I felt good in there – full of energy,” Cannonier said. “I would say essentially the same as at light heavyweight. I’m in perfect shape. I’m in better shape. More abs. More muscles. More ripples and stuff for the camera. This is just a result of all the work we’re putting in.”
With a big win over Branch, who was ranked number seven before the fight, Cannonier will be seeing a big jump up in competition. He rivaled Israel Adesanya for the standout middleweight performance of the night.
What do you think about Cannonier’s move down to middleweight?