UFC president Dana White has confirmed that Jared Cannonier will be next for Israel Adesanya as long as he beats Robert Whittaker at UFC 254.
Immediately after Adesanya knocked out Paulo Costa in the main event of UFC 253, the question jumped to who should be next for the champ. If you look at the rankings, the highest-ranked fighter who has yet to get his crack at the belt is Cannonier. The former heavyweight and light heavyweight looks to make it four straight wins when he takes on Whittaker at UFC 254 next month in a fight that is a title eliminator at 185lbs.
Speaking to reporters following UFC 253, White confirmed that if Cannonier defeats Whittaker next month on Fight Island, he will indeed be next in line for Adesanya.
“Yeah, I mean that’s the fight if Cannonier wins,” Dana White said.
White then praised Adesanya for always calling out the toughest possible fights in the division. Instead of chasing superfights with fighters in other weight classes, Adesanya is constantly asking to fight the best middleweights in the world and White loves that.
“And I love that about Israel. You know, he’s ready for who’s next, who else thinks they can beat me. It’s just — the kid is an absolute stud,” White said.
Cannonier (13-4) has fought in three weight classes in the UFC but he has really settled into a home at 185lbs. Despite being age 36, Cannonier is fighting at the peak of his career right now. In his last three fights, Cannonier has defeated Jack Hermansson, Anderson Silva, and David Branch to emerge as one of the top-five middleweights in the UFC. With a fourth-straight win over Whittaker on Fight Island, Cannonier absolutely would be deserving of getting that shot at Adesanya’s belt.
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