UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya rates Jared Cannonier very highly. However, he believes the American needs one more fight before getting a title shot.
Cannonier made the move down to middleweight last year and the results have been devastating. He has so far defeated the likes of David Branch, Anderson Silva, and Jack Hermansson with all of those wins coming by way of knockout.
Currently #4 in the rankings, “The Killa Gorilla” has a real shot at title contention now, especially with Paulo Costa on the sidelines for a while. But Adesanya feels Cannonier needs one more win that would truly cement himself as the next challenger.
“Jared? It will be a good fight,” Adesanya told Luke Thomas recently. “The guy is spicy, I like him. But I just think he needs one more fight.
“I think he’s the most dangerous fighter in that division. He’s the dark horse of that division. Me and my coach agree. He’s a guy we take seriously, we don’t take lightly.”
One more reason why “The Last Stylebender” would prefer not to face Cannonier now is because he really wants to face Yoel Romero. Romero has been calling out Adesanya ever since the news of Costa’s surgery broke.
And despite the Cuban being on a two-fight losing streak, Adesanya wants to face him just to prove something to the casual fans.
“I wanted Paula [Costa]. That would be the best fight,” Adesanya continued. “I would embarrass him on the mic, I would embarrass him in the lead-up to the fight and I would embarrass him in the fight. It’s going to happen, he hurt himself or whatever.
“But I think Cannonier, one more fight for him. But Romero, just because of the casuals — they think this is the guy. ‘He’s got muscles, oh, wrestling.’ I’m like cool, I just want to do it to shut the casuals up.”
While the idea of an Adesanya vs. Romero matchup is very enticing, UFC president Dana White wants the latter to have another fight before potentially challenging for the title again.
Maybe Cannonier’s one fight ticket to a title shot could be through Romero?