Houston, TX — Israel Adesanya wasn’t the only middleweight to come out of UFC 271 with a big win.
Arguably the most impressive performance of the night came from title hopeful Jared Cannonier (15-5). “The Killa Gorilla” survived Derek Brunson’s wrestling, and smashed his opponent with elbows to put him away in the second round of their main-card bout.
It was enough, it seems, to get the nod from Dana White as the next title challenger at 185lbs. “I was excited to see that fight, to see how it was going to play out,” White said following the event, speaking at the post-fight press conference. “It was an awesome fight. And yeah. I’m not going to say no to Cannonier.”
The battle to be next in line had been something of a two-horse race, with Sean Strickland improving to five straight wins last week, capturing a decision against Jack Hermansson. But that fight was a listless affair, far from the action-packed outing that Cannonier had with Brunson.
Following his own win at UFC 271, Adesanya himself had suggested that Jared Cannonier would be next. It’s a fresh face for the champ, after two straight rematches. “The Last Stylebender” even suggested a date in June.
White wasn’t ready to confirm any timeframe on Saturday however. “I don’t know. Listen, that’s the other thing that I love about that kid, he wants to fight all the time. So we’ll see what happens.”
Watch the full UFC 271 post-fight press conference with Dana White above.