Jared Cannonier’s debut in the UFC’s middleweight division couldn’t have gone any better.
The MMA Lab standout knocked out top contender David Branch in the second round at UFC 230 this past Saturday. Despite being the betting underdog heading into the matchup and taking the fight on short-notice, the Alaskan born middleweight was unfazed by all the talk heading into the matchup.
“I never felt like I didn’t have the momentum. I always felt in control.” Cannonier explained. “Even when I got taken down, I didn’t get taken down and tell myself [I’m in trouble]. I’ve come to terms that I’m not a natural wrestler so I can expect to get taken down in the fight. But what I have focused on is the techniques and skills acquired to get up effectively, not pussyfooting around. I know it’s a fight. What am I going to do? Preparation, being ready for whatever. Nothing in the octagon can compare to this thing called life. I’m not fazed by anything that goes on in there.”
Cannonier (11-4) snapped a career high two-fight skid on Saturday and made quite the statement in the UFC’s 185-pound division. The win pushed the 34-year-old’s UFC record to 4-3. Keeping the momentum going, Cannonier aims to get back in the octagon early next year and revealed which card he has his sights set on.
“I would definitely like to stay more active. The newest card I’d like to be on is in Phoenix, it would be nice to be on that one. I don’t care who, whatever is the right one for my career. I’ll leave that up to the managers and coaches. They all have their opinions. I’ve always said I’ll fight anybody, all of them. Eventually they’re going to get it. It’s about picking the right one next. I just get back in the gym training and getting better.”