Tonight’s UFC 254 co-main event features a key middleweight battle between former division champion Robert Whittaker and surging contender Jared Cannonier.
Cannonier (13-4 MMA) will enter the contest on a three-fight winning streak, his latest being a TKO victory over Jack Hermansson at UFC Copenhagen in September of 2019. Prior to defeating ‘The Joker’, Cannonier had earned TKO wins over former MMA champions in Anderson Silva and David Branch respectively.
Meanwhile, Robert Whittaker (21-5 MMA) will be looking to build off the momentum of his recent win over Darren Till when he squares off with Cannonier at UFC 254. The former middleweight champion is hoping that an impressive win over ‘The Killa Gorilla’ will earn him a rematch with Israel Adesanya.
UFC President Dana White has already confirmed that if Jared Cannonier can defeat Robert Whittaker at UFC 254, he will then receive the next title opportunity against reigning middleweight kingpin Israel Adesanya.
Round one of the UFC 254 co-main event begins and the fighters touch gloves. Cannonier with a big low kick to start. Robert Whittaker swings and misses with a jab. ‘The Reaper’ with a low kick. Cannonier returns fire. Whittaker slips and gets back to his feet. He lands a nice body kick on ‘The Killa Gorilla’. Both men are utilizing a lot of movement early. Jared Cannonier with a low kick and then another. Whittaker lands a nice counter. That appeared to be an elbow. Another kick from Cannonier but this time it is checked by the former champ. Robert Whittaker with a nice combination that ends in a high kick. Whittaker with a good jab now. Cannonier backs up and then throws a right but eats another counter from Rob. The Aussie lands a nice left hook. Cannonier returns fire with a crisp right hand up the middle. Jabs from both fighters find a home. Whittaker goes high with a kick that partially connects. Another low kick from Jared Cannonier before the horn sounds to end round one.
High level striking in this one!
Who took round 1️⃣ on your card? pic.twitter.com/P81Rh8nTS5
— UFC (@ufc) October 24, 2020
Round two of the UFC 254 co-main event begins and Robert Whittaker lands a nice right hand to start. Jared Cannonier lands a low kick and then another. Whittaker with a front kick. He leaps in with a left hand that appears to miss the mark. Cannonier with another heavy outside low kick. And another. Whittaker circles to his right and lands a left hand. A good jab lands for the former champ. Cannonier counters with a right hand. More stinging jabs from Whittaker. Jared’s face is beginning to swell up. Cannonier with a low kick and then a straight right. Robert Whittaker circles to his left and then lands another crisp jab. That strike has been money for the Australian. Cannonier looks to establish his jab now. Big shots now from both men. Jared Cannonier with a nice combination. Whittaker paws with his jab. He lands a good straight right up the middle. Another good jab for Rob lands before the horn sounds to end round two.
WHITTAKER CLIPS HIM!
— UFC (@ufc) October 24, 2020
The third and final round of the UFC 254 co-main event begins and Robert Whittaker is looking to establish his jab early in the final five minutes. Jared Cannonier comes forward but eats a front kick for his efforts. Rob with a good body kick followed by a jab. Whittaker with a head kick. Cannonier is hurt. He goes down. Rob is on him with ground and pound but somehow Jared survives. Whittaker moves to full mount. He takes the back of Cannonier and looks for a submission. Jared scrambles back up to his feet. He lands a big punch and rocks Rob. Whittaker dives for a takedown. He doesn’t get it but presses Cannonier against the cage. The fighters trade knees. The horn sounds.
Official UFC 254 Result: Robert Whittaker def. Jared Cannonier by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Who would you like to see Whittaker fight next following his victory over Cannonier today on Yas Island? Share your thoughts in the comments section PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on October 24, 2020