Jared Cannonier Confirmed As Backup For UFC 293 Main Event

Jared Cannonier will be ready to step in for Israel Adesanya or Sean Strickland to ensure the UFC 293 main event is a title fight.

Jared Cannonier
Jared Cannonier (Left) and the UFC 293 event poster (Right)(Images via Instagram @KillaGorillaMMA and @UFC)

Jared Cannonier will be the backup for the UFC 293 main event between middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and title challenger Sean Strickland

In July 2022, Cannonier secured a title shot against Adesanya after establishing a two-fight win streak. Unfortunately, ‘Tha Killa Gorilla’ couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity, leading to a unanimous decision loss in an uneventful performance. 

Since then, Cannonier has bounced back with two consecutive wins, including the first being a split decision against Strickland. On June 17, the 39-year-old defeated Marvin Vettori by unanimous decision to re-enter the 185-pound title picture. 

Shortly after defeating Vettori, ‘ Tha Killa Gorilla’ was asked during his post-fight press conference about potentially being a backup for the next middleweight title fight. The number three-ranked UFC middleweight responded by saying:

“I’m more than happy to step in for that opportunity. Get paid, even if I don’t fight, you still get paid a little bit. So, I’m happy with that. And I wouldn’t mind a trip to Syndey. I’ve never been to Australia before. I’ve always wanted to go.”

On Saturday night, September 9, Israel Adesanya looks to extend his latest title reign by taking out Sean Strickland. The UFC elected to bring a backup for the championship bout, potentially giving Jared Cannonier a massive opportunity. 

Jared Cannonier confirmed as backup for UFC 293 main event

Besides Sean Strickland, Jared Cannonier was the only top-five middleweight available for UFC 293. The number one-ranked Dricus Du Plessis was the other option, but he wasn’t willing to make the quick turnaround after defeating Robert Whittaker on July 8.

It’ll be intriguing to see if Cannonier shockingly gets to fight in the UFC 293 main event. Unfortunately for him, Strickland and Israel Adesanya have never missed weight, which means something crazy will need to happen for the current matchup to be changed. 

Adesanya last fought on April 8, defeating Alex Pereira with a second-round knockout to regain the UFC middleweight title. Meanwhile, Strickland is riding a two-fight win streak, starting with a short-notice unanimous decision win against Nassourdine Imavov in January. 

On July 1, Strickland secured a second-round TKO win against Abus Magomedov to continue gaining momentum. Due to most top 185-pound contenders suffering losses against the reigning king, the 32-year-old earned a chance to shock the world by potentially dethroning Adesanya.

Published on September 5, 2023 at 2:33 am
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