Exclusive: Jared Cannonier Welcomes Scrap with Khamzat Chimaev After Taking Care of Business Against Marvin Vettori

Jared Cannonier is more than willing to welcome Khamzat Chimaev to the middleweight division

Jared Cannonier
Courtesy of @UFCNews on Twitter

Jared Cannonier is more than willing to step inside the Octagon with undefeated standout Khamzat Chimaev. 

Cannonier, the No. 4 ranked middleweight contender, will return to the familiar confines of The APEX in Las Vegas on June 17 for a UFC Fight Night headliner with one-time title challenger Marvin Vettori. ‘Killa Gorilla’ will look to continue his climb back into title contention after scoring a big split decision win over Sean Strickland last December.

Two short weeks from his clash with ‘The Italian Dream’, Cannonier spoke with James Lynch in a MiddleEasy exclusive to discuss his next opponent and what could be on the horizon. During their conversation, Cannonier was asked about the possibility of welcoming Khamzat Chimaev to the middleweight division later this year when the promotion heads to Abu Dhabi for UFC 294.

“I have thought about that possibility. I think there’s a chance that they try to make that matchup after this next fight since they already have a contenders fight [between Dricus du Plessis and Robert Whittaker] scheduled so that’s a potentiality, but then I’d seen where they announced him and Kamaru Usman potentially fighting,” Cannonier said.

Rumors of a potential meeting between Khamzat Chimaev and ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ have picked up steam after ‘Borz’ seemingly suggested that the fight was in the works on his YouTube channel. Should that fight fall through for whatever reason, Cannonier would gladly step in and scrap with the undefeated Chechen monster in Abu Dhabi. 

“Absolutely. The thought has definitely crossed my mind of fighting him and what that would be like. Yeah, that’s definitely a fun fight and I’m not saying no to any fight. So if they called me and said it’s Chimaev, I’m like, ‘Hey, let’s do it.’ But right now, I’m on course. I’m on a path for the title. That’s what I want and that’s what I’m going for.”

Jared Cannonier on How He Matches Up Against Khamzat Chimaev

As for how he matches up against the wrestle-heavy behemoth, Jared Cannonier believes he will have an answer for anything that Chimaev could potentially throw at him.

“He’s definitely an animal in there. I ain’t gonna put nothing past him,” Cannonier continued. “Him with the wrestling, that would be a fun camp for me because when I fight these wrestlers, camps are a growth for me. Those camps are just huge growing opportunities for me and anybody who’s tried to wrestle me has ended up on the sh*t end of the stick.

“Those who try to stand up with me don’t really last too long unless they’re back on the heels. He comes forward so he’s going to present himself for the things I want best. To knock a mother*cker out. If he tries to shoot, I’ve got answers for that too. That’s a mountain to climb trying to get over that wrestling and stuff, but I ain’t scared, you know what I mean? That’s an opportunity for me to grow. That’s a like a lobster shell. That’s tight. I gotta grow up outta that sh*t.

“That’s what I’m here at the lab doing. All these guys present their problem because they’re f*cking good at something. And we’re gonna work our a**es off and I’m gonna be ready for it.”

Who do you see having their hand raised in a potential meeting between ‘Killa Gorilla’ and Khamzat Chimaev?

Published on May 30, 2023 at 7:24 pm
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