UFC middleweight contender Jared Cannonier is not sure who his next opponent will be, but an outing with former champion Robert Whittaker sounds like a “good fight” according to him.
Cannonier has had an explosive start to his middleweight career since moving down in 2018. So far, he owns knockout wins over David Branch, Anderson Silva and most recently, Jack Hermansson.
His performances have even got the attention of current champion Israel Adesanya who labeled him as a dark horse in the division. However, “The Last Stylebender” also believes he needs one more fight before getting a title shot.
What better way to earn it than by potentially beating the former champion in Whittaker?
“Well, I know Whittaker wanted to get back in around February, March timeframe. So that’d be perfect for me,” Cannonier told The Schmo in a recent interview when asked when he would like to fight next. “I was just ready to fight at the beginning of the month [as an alternate for Kelvin Gastelum vs. Darren Till] so I’m ready right now. So that would be a good enough time to prepare for a fighter of that caliber.
“Whittaker is ranked #1 I believe. He’s still the #1 contender, 14th pound-for-pound. So that’s a really good fight for me at this point in time.”
Whittaker has targeted a return in that timeframe. But with Darren Till now in the mix, there is a possibility that he fights “The Reaper” instead. Whatever happens, Cannonier knows if he is to compete again, it will only be against someone who guarantees him a title shot.
“At this point, I’m not sure what’s going on with bout agreements or negotiations,” he added. “I leave that up to my manager and they’ve been doing a good job so far.
“… At the end of the day, the decision is up to me whether to take a fight or not. With that being said, we are on the same page — it should be either a title shot or a shot that gets me to the title.”