The UFC’s #14 ranked light heavyweight Jared Cannonier is looking to follow up his TUF 25 Finale knockout of Nick Roehrick with another stellar performance against the #15 ranked Jan Błachowicz, at UFC on FOX 26 this Saturday night. Cannonier – who sports a 2-1 record inside of the 205 lb division – recently quit his full time job in Alaska to start training full time at The MMA Lab in Phoenix, Arizona. And he isn’t exactly excited about returning to the cold this weekend for UFC Winnipeg.
Before getting it cracking up north, Cannonier caught up with Bloody Elbow to discuss his previous opponents popping hot, his plan for Jan, and his prediction for Daniel Cormier vs. Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 220.
Saturday’s UFC Winnipeg main card will air live on FOX at 8:00 P.M. ET with the prelims starting at 5:00 P.M. ET on the same channel. The exclusive Fight Pass prelims will begin at 4:00 P.M. ET.
- Bombing on short notice opponent Nick Roehrick to pick up the 3rd round TKO at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, back in July of this year:
“I felt good in there, man... He did take a lot of shots in there. I actually broke my hand in the 2nd round, on that 2nd overhand right, but I found a way to get the finish and it worked out. I wish I would have got the bonus though, that would have been nice.”
- Are you surprised that Roehrick was able to absorb so much punishment?
“Well, after the fact I found out that he had tested positive after the fight. A couple weeks after the fight, he got tested out of competition. In my thinking, he was using it to prepare for his fight that he had coming up, because he had a fight originally scheduled 2 or 3 days after our fight. So, he was preparing for something.”
- Do you have any idea what Roehrick was flagged for?
“All I know is it’s something that it was something people use when they’re cycling off, coming off of a cycle. I don’t know exactly what it was, but again, that’s just hearsay. If it is true, that sucks. It sucks I broke my hand against his head; I injured my elbow as well. It is what it is, the name of the game I suppose.”
- Do you think the doping is what allowed Roehrick to sustain so much damage?
“I mean... Yes. Especially, with the shots I was dishing out, but who knows.”
- So, you were originally scheduled to face Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC on FOX 26, but he was flagged by USADA for testing positive. What’s up with your opponent’s getting popped?
“It is what it is, you know. Who knows? They say that it could be tainted supplements, but we’ve heard that excuse from other different fighters as well. With that in mind, I stopped taking the supplements that I was taking. I was taking fish oil, multivitamins, probiotics and stuff like that. I can’t even take that no more for fear of me looking like the guy with egg on my face.”
- You recently lived in Alaska, but now reside in Arizona; are you excited to return to the cold at UFC on FOX 26 in Winnipeg, Canada?
“Oh I’m not excited about it [laughs]. I might have been in Alaska for the last 10 years, don’t make me Alaskan. I’m from Texas. I like the heat, I like the sun. I’m a sun person.”
- Are you happy with your replacement opponent Jan Błachowicz?
“I’m very happy with the matchup. Jan is a tough dude. Some of those decisions were against the top guys in the division; Alexander Gustafsson, Jimi Manuwa. He’s fought a bunch of top guys, so he’s tough, and all of those losses have been decisions. It’s not like he’s been getting wrecked in there; and the dude’s a black belt now. I know what his weapon is, I know what his advantage is. Or at least what he thinks his advantage is.”
- Do you think Błachowicz will end up shooting in on you?
“Well, that would be the best thing, the smartest decision to make for him. Once the hands start going, you know, there’s 2 ways down. You shoot or you can fall. That’s what I’m preparing for. I’m preparing for a guy to shoot, because I feel like I’m going to have the striking advantage in most of the matchups.”
“I don’t choose how my opponent falls, I leave that up to my opponent.”
“That’s DC, man. I’m going to take DC on that one. Honestly, I have DC in any fight, until he faces me [laughs].”
- Would you still pick DC over Jon Jones if they fought for a 3rd time?
“Yeah, yeah. Well, I don’t know, hang on [laughs].”
Watch Jared Cannonier get down with Jan Błachowicz at UFC on FOX 26 from Winnipeg, Canada on December 16, 2017. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for all of your UFC event coverage including interviews, play-by-play, highlights, and more!