Jared Cannonier suffered a unanimous decision loss to Israel Adesanya at UFC 276, missing out on his bid to become the middleweight champion.
After the fight, “Tha Killa Gorilla” said he got emotional, admitting to Ariel Helwani that he started crying backstage.
He pushed back against the taboo of men crying, stating that it is a natural and healthy way to release stress and tension, and that men should not be made to feel ashamed for expressing their emotions.
“Crying isn’t a weakness,” Cannonier said on The MMA Hour (h/t MMA Fighting). “Crying is a biological thing that we do to release stress, relieve tension. It’s not a weakness. So the fact that the world has led us to believe that our natural bodily functions are bad for us, it’s why I don’t listen to people. Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t back there sobbing and needing a shoulder to cry on, needing somebody to hold me and a t** to suck on or anything like that. It was just something I did to deal with it. It was a frustrating cry. I tensed up, it was frustrating. But I wouldn’t say it was a sad cry or anything like that. It was more frustrating.”
“But on the way home, I was fine,” he added. “I wasn’t like still bumming out about the fight or anything. It was over. So when I was on the way back to the hotel, I was fine. It sucked, yeah. But I wouldn’t say the sting was still there. It was just a moment in time. I don’t hang onto these moments like that and let them drag me down or weigh on me like that. So if it’s not going to help me, there’s no point in hanging onto these thoughts or emotions.”
Despite missing out on the middleweight title, Cannonier had an otherwise successful year, with standout wins over Derek Brunson and Sean Strickland. He hopes to fight Robert Whittaker at UFC 284, stepping in as a replacement for Paulo Costa.
UFC 284: Makhachev vs. Volkanovski takes place next year, Feb. 12, at the RAC Arena in Perth, Australia.