Since losing to then champ Israel Adesanya at UFC 276, Cannonier has rebounded with back-to-back wins – one of them a split decision against Strickland. Cannonier (17-6 MMA, 10-6 UFC) edged out Strickland in a five-round battle this past December, a fight Strickland thought he won.
Strickland (28-5 MMA, 15-5 UFC) went on to score two straight wins over Nassourdine Imavov and Abus Magomedov, before getting the short-notice call to challenge Adesanya for the title. Strickland surprised the masses by dethroning Adesanya at UFC 293, and now Cannonier wants his title shot.
“If you’re a true hand to hand combat fan like me and not in it for the 🤡 ass actors and their theatrics, then you know this is the fight to make. I beat the champ and got two checks to prove it. He wasn’t walking me down screaming in my face either. Nobody does that to me. The only other MW to beat him has ascended. He fought him differently than he fought me as well. 🤔. On top of that he said it himself that he ‘fought like a b*tch’ so here’s your chance to redeem your man card @strickland_mma_ let’s actually do the man dance brother. P.S I was high as hell on that poster🦍😶🌫️🍃”
Cannonier weighed in as a backup for Strickland vs. Adesanya, but didn’t end up having to fight. UFC CEO Dana White said a Strickland vs. Adesanya rematch could be next, but acknowledged that there are other options.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 293.