Jared Cannonier believes if he beats Derek Brunson at UFC 271, his next fight should be for gold.
Cannonier returned to the win column back in August with a decision win over Kelvin Gastelum and since dropping to middleweight he’s 4-1. With that, he believes if he defeats Brunson on Saturday night in Houston, he should fight for the belt next time out.
“I mean yeah (I expect a title shot),” Cannonier said at media day. “Who else is there? There’s nobody else. There’s no other clear contender at this time. So No. 3 vs. No. 4 (in the UFC rankings)? Yeah. That’s the one.”
If Jared Cannonier does get past Derek Brunson, he says he doesn’t care who he will face. Of course, the middleweight belt is on the line in the main event, and although he lost to Robert Whittaker in 2020, he says he doesn’t care about getting that fight back. Instead, he’s focused on just fighting for the belt and doesn’t care about getting revenge.
“I don’t care either way,” Cannonier said. “I’m not hanging on to that Robert loss like, ‘Oh, I can’t wait to get my hands on him.’ I’m not looking up like, ‘I can’t wait to fight Izzy’ or nothing like that. A fight’s a fight. Whoever it is, I’m going to do the best I can to put you away. I know the fans would like to see those fights, either of them. For me, both are a welcomed challenge. If I fight one next, I’ll fight the other one down the line. They’re both right there.”
In the end, Cannonier is confident he will get his hand raised on Saturday night and expects to KO Brunson to secure that title shot.
“I’m not going to stroke his balls,” Cannonier said. “He can wrestle. Apparently, he can punch, as well. But he can get knocked out, too.”