A key middleweight bout between former division champion Robert Whittaker and surging contender Jared Cannonier co-headlined yesterday’s UFC 254 event.
The bout had massive stakes for ‘The Killa Gorilla’, as UFC President Dana White had already confirmed that if Cannonier could defeat Whittaker he would then earn the next title shot against Israel Adesanya.
Cannonier (13-5 MMA) had entered yesterday’s UFC 254 event on a three-fight win streak, with all of those wins coming by way of TKO. During that impressive stretch, the American picked up stoppage victories over David Branch, Anderson Silva and Jack Hermansson.
Meanwhile, Robert Whitaker (22-5 MMA) was making a quick turnaround at UFC 254, this after scoring a unanimous decision victory over Darren Till in July.
The former middleweight champion had gone 10-1 over his past eleven bouts, with his lone loss in that time coming to reigning middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.
The UFC 254 co-main event lived up to most fans expectations as Whittaker and Cannonier traded heavy strikes for the better part of fifteen minutes. However, after three rounds of action it was clear to most fans and analysts that ‘The Reaper’ had done enough to get the decision nod from the judges.
Shortly following his tough setback to the Aussie, Jared Cannonier took to Instagram where he issued the following statement on the loss. In the post, ‘The Killa Gorilla’ reveals Whittaker broke his arm with the very first kick he threw.
“That didn’t go exactly how I wanted but My spirits remain high and I’m happy with how I fought all things considered. The very first kick he threw broke or fractured my left ulna bone. I couldn’t find my groove and adjust quickly to get the win so I’ll take my loss with pride. Rob Whittaker certainly lived up to my expectations before and after the fight. Congrats mate. Enjoy Xmas and the new baby. It was a hell of an experience to be here. Can’t wait to go again.” – Jared Cannonier captioned the post.
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This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on October 25, 2020