Jared Cannonier has offered to rematch Robert Whittaker at UFC 284, saying that he would love to fight ‘The Reaper’ in Australia. The matchup would mark a rematch of their first bout at UFC 254, which Whittaker won via unanimous decision.
Cannonier would be stepping in as a replacement for Paulo Costa, who declined to fight at UFC 284 due to an ongoing contract dispute with the UFC. Whittaker has since been removed from the event, but Cannonier thinks he could persuade the UFC to reshuffle the card and book a rematch.
“Hell yeah [if they offer the rematch I’d accept], I’ve never been to Australia before,” Cannonier told Ariel Helwani during a recent appearance on The MMA Hour (h/t Josh Evanhoff). “I’d love to go there and fight Robert again and hopefully get the job done then. No, [they haven’t reached out about the fight].”
“Yeah, I don’t get [taking Whittaker] off the card either,” he added. “So, I don’t know, maybe Robert wants to take time off, maybe it’s Robert’s decision. Maybe he wants to take more time off then, wants to enjoy the holidays… Absolutely [if they called, I would be interested].”
Cannonier is coming off of back-to-back victories over Kelvin Gastelum and Derek Brunson, as well as a split decision win against Sean Strickland at UFC Vegas 66. A victory over Whittaker could potentially propel him to the No. 1 spot in the middleweight rankings, possibly setting up a rematch with Israel Adesanya.
UFC 284 is set to take place on Feb. 12 at the RAC Arena in Perth, Australia.