Jared Cannonier believes Alex Pereira’s fifth-round TKO win over Israel Adesanya at UFC 281 to become the new middleweight champion was a good thing for the middleweight division.
Entering the fifth round, Pereira was down on the scorecards but got the TKO in the fifth round, which won’t too surprising for Cannonier. The middleweight contender also believes the change in champion is a good thing for the division.
For Israel Adesanya’s side, his coach Eugene Bareman is confident in the rematch.
Jared Cannoniers Statement
“I wouldn’t say it was a good thing for me,” Cannonier said on The MMA Hour. “I wouldn’t say I was happy or anything like that. I didn’t have an emotional reaction to it. It was more of a logical thing,” Cannonier said. “And the way I think of it is, it brings more interest to the division, as opposed to bringing more interest to Israel himself.”
“So it is good for the rest of us. We all get more of a chance of fighting for the title, as opposed to trying to make our way back up to a rematch, which I feel is harder to do in this sport. But no, I wasn’t happy that Israel lost. I wasn’t like clutching my crystals hoping Israel loses this fight or anything like that. So no, I’ve never wished ill will on anybody.”
Although Jared Cannonier believes Alex Pereira being the new champ is a good thing, the Brazilian will likely have to beat Adesanya again to remain the champ.
The rematch will be another massive fight – and a close one – and for Cannonier, he’s uncertain who would win it.
“I think anybody can win a fight,” Jared Cannonier said. “Anybody who trains, especially anybody at this level, at the highest level of sport, anybody can win. I mean, look at the fight — Israel was on his way to winning. He even rocked him at the end of that first round. If he had maybe 15 or 20 more seconds, he probably could’ve finished that in the first round. So I’m not going to say that this person is going to win or that person’s going to win. Nobody has nobody’s number in this game, I would say. That’s what I believe, that’s what I tell myself, and that’s why I believe I can beat anybody in this sport.”
Ultimately, the hope for Jared Cannonier, is regardless of who wins, he gets to fight for the belt next time out after his decision win over Sean Strickland.