After making his struggles to secure a fight public, Jared Cannonier sees a light at the end of the tunnel.
In an appearance on Ariel Helwani's MMA Show, Cannonier claimed that four fighters turned down a main event fight with him. Cannonier pointed to Jack Hermansson and 'Jacare' Souza in particular, saying that they prevented him from headlining UFC Fight Night San Antonio on July 20th. With that opportunity now gone, Cannonier is looking towards another potential contender clash instead.
"A little birdie told me that Kelvin Gastelum is looking to fight at the end or the middle of September, I think in Mexico City," Cannonier told Helwani. "That’d be a good fight. That fight would put me closer to a title shot. Adesanya just fought him, just beat him for the interim title. He’s next in line naturally but before that Adesanya fought Anderson.
"I beat Anderson in a more impressive fashion and I feel if I beat, when I beat Kelvin if we ever meet, in a more impressive fashion which is what I plan on doing to any and everybody. I think that undeniably puts me in position, puts me next in line for a title shot. Nobody wants to fight me now but I’m sure they’ll wanna fight me with a belt around my waist."
In just two fights at Middleweight, Cannonier has already secured a ranking in the UFC's Middleweight standings. Currently 10th, Cannonier has made an impressive transition to 185 lbs, stopping David Branch as well as more recently, Anderson Silva. Looking to maximize that momentum, Cannonier is ready for whatever opportunity presents itself.
“I can be ready at Mexico City, September, whenever. If that’s what he (Gastelum) wants, if he wants to get a fight on that card, send me a contract and I’ll sign it.”
The UFC is indeed headed to Mexico City this September, with an event taking place at Mexico City Arena on September 21st. The card is set to air on ESPN+ but is currently without a fight, though Gastelum vs. Cannonier could certainly take top billing.