Listening to Jared Cannonier’s recent interview on The Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, you would never imagine that he had competed only one month ago. Cannonier defeated Anderson Silva via TKO at UFC 237 and has wanted to get right back to work ever since. The problem is he hasn’t had any takers, and he used the ESPN platform to appeal to his peers to change that: (Transcript via Fightful.com):
“From my perspective, we’re all fighters,” Cannonier said. “We all have a job to do so picking and choosing fights is one thing I’ve never done. I’ll fight whoever comes along. I understand people have to consider their career if they’re trying to get to a title shot and all that stuff but in this division, if you wanna get to a title shot you’re gonna have to meet me eventually.”
If this unwelcome lull in Cannonier’s fight schedule is indeed due to his would-be opponents handpicking opponents, Cannonier argues that given they will fight him eventually any, they might as well fight him now before he hits his peak as a mixed martial artist:
“The longer you wait, the worse it’s gonna be so you better come see me now or wait until it’s gonna be damn near impossible to beat me,” Cannonier said. “With that being said, I don’t want to say that people are scared. I’m not here to say that anyone’s scared or anything like that. I’m not gonna do that, that’s not my place to do that. One thing I will say is that I would like for somebody to step up so I can get paid so I can pay my bills.”
Cannonier calmly expressed that he is not speaking from a place of anger but the need to fight from both a competitive and a financial standpoint. To that end, Cannonier refrained from name-calling aspersions and made a final plea for any of his ranked peers to answer his call:
“Whatever their reasons are, whether they’re ready, whether they’re injured, whether they want to fight someone that’s not ranked #10. Whatever the reasons are, it doesn’t matter. I wish they would’ve taken the fight, those would’ve been really good fights for me and for them. Good fights all around. Anytime I step in the octagon, it’s gonna create some footage that the UFC is gonna be happy with.
“If you wanna be a part of that, if you wanna be in exciting fights so the UFC will keep putting you in fights, then I’m the one you need to talk to. It’s always gonna be exciting when I step in there,” he said. “I don’t care why they say no, I just want you to say yes.”
Whom would you like to see Jared Cannonier fight next in the UFC?