Las Vegas, NV — Two things became abundantly clear during Jared Cannonier’s UFC 276 media day appearance on Wednesday.
One is that Cannonier (15-5) does not care about what other people are thinking, no matter how dismissive they are of his chances against Israel Adesanya this Saturday, in the pair’s middleweight title fight. The other is that this match-up has been a long time coming.
“I’m not really putting too much extra pressure on myself. Fighting is stressful enough if you will,” Cannonier told media outlets including Cageside Press ahead of the biggest fight of his career. “Not that I’m taking it easy or anything — I work hard regardless. I’m coming in with the same self-belief, the same confidence, the same energy, BDE that I plan on using to get the win.”
Cannonier then revealed that he had introduced himself to Adesanya following his own middleweight debut, back in November of 2018 at UFC 230. Cannonier had dropped to 185 pounds, while “The Last Stylebender” was in his third fight with the organization.
“When I made my middleweight debut, we all know the dogs pissing and everything like that. But what we don’t know is that backstage me and him actually came face-to-face, and I introduced myself, because I had been a fan of him already; we were fighting on the same card, I thought that was pretty cool,” recalled Cannoier. “So we had come face-to-face, and I introduced myself to him, congratulated him because I had got to watch his fight. It was kind of interesting, because he was respectful, but I felt like he was sizing me up at the same time, and he even said ‘yeah, we’ll see each other.’ And I’m like ‘well sh*t if we do, let’s have a good-ass fight.’ He said ‘oh yeah,’ he pretty much reaffirmed or reasserted the fact that we’ll fight again.”
“This thing has been brewing quite a long time,” Cannonier would add. “Way before the videos that we’ve seen out there, and all that stuff.”
Asked about those who think Adesanya might be over-confident, Cannonier returned to a familiar theme: what other people are thinking or saying is of no interest to him.
“I don’t really think about what other people say, so I don’t have any thoughts on what he said or what he’s saying. My thoughts are only on what he’s going to attempt to do Saturday night, and what I’m going to do Saturday night,” Cannonier stated. “There’s a lot of people saying a lot of things, and damn near all of them are counting me out.”
And in terms of the outcome at UFC 276, Cannonier himself has just one thought: “There is nothing else I envision outside of the age-old quote ‘and new.'”
Watch the full UFC 276 media day appearance by Jared Cannonier above. The event takes place this Saturday, July 2, 2022 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV.