A former heavyweight, Jared Cannonier has quickly established himself in the top ten of the UFC’s middleweight division.
“The Killa Gorilla” (12-4) has won both of his fights at 185 lbs thus far, stopping David Branch via strikes at UFC 230, followed by leg kicking Anderson Silva to an injury TKO at last month’s UFC 237 in Brazil. As Cannonier looks to move up the ladder and become a potential title challenger, he has his sights set on taking recent interim title challenger Kelvin Gastelum.
“I heard a little birdie says that one Kelvin Gastelum is looking to fight at the end or middle of September in Mexico City,” Cannonier said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show (via MMA Mania). So that would be a good fight and put me closer to a title shot.”
Gastelum (15-4, 1 NC) lost a remarkable encounter with Israel Adesanya at UFC 236. In one of the best fights of the year, Gastelum hurt Adesanya multiple times but found himself knocked down several times. His notable wins at 185 lbs include Ronaldo Souza, Michael Bisping, and Tim Kennedy.
UFC Mexico City is slated for September 21st, but Cannonier actually wanted to fight much sooner. He claimed that several fighters (unnamed) turned him down for a main event showdown at UFC San Antonio on July 20th, so he’s hoping someone can step up and agree to take him on.
“I’m not here to say that anyone is scared or anything like that. I am not going to do that and it is not my place to do that. But I will say that I would like for somebody to step up so I can get paid and pay my bills. This is an issue I had when I was a heavyweight in Alaska, because there aren’t a lot of heavyweights in Alaska,” he said.
“But now I am a middleweight in the UFC, so there should be somebody to step up and fight.”