Jared Cannonier is one of the more recognizable names in the UFC middleweight top four. 'The Killa Gorilla' is currently riding a two-fight win streak that he hopes will be enough to earn him his second crack at the divisional throne. Another title shot, if it indeed is what comes next, is one that will be different in several ways.
First, it would be against an opponent that Cannonier has never faced in a championship bout, but recently defeated in controversial fashion. Second, it would be a matchup in which 'The Killa Gorilla' has promised to be far more aggressive, given the impotent performance in his last title fight against Israel Adesanya.
In an interview with Sportskeeda's own James Lynch, Jared Cannonier touched on the bout he had with Sean Strickland prior to 'Tarzan's' championship win. He specifically promised (at 25:59 minutes) to leave no doubt in anyone's mind about who the better man is, given the competitive nature of their previous fight:
"I'm gonna be way more ferocious, but more tactical at the same time. I've acquired some, you know, very specific skills to deal with these top-level competitors, you know what I'm saying? I've been working on this for over a year now, and again, what you guys saw in my last fight was merely a taste of it."
Jared Cannonier is referencing his most recent win over former title challenger Marvin Vettori, against whom 'The Killa Gorilla' broke the record for the most significant strikes landed in the history of the UFC middleweight division. It was a massive departure from his usual low-volume approach.
While Cannonier has already called out Strickland for a rematch, there's no official word on who 'Tarzan' will defend his newly acquired title against.
How many UFC champions has Jared Cannonier beaten?
While Sean Strickland is the most recent man to claim UFC gold that Jared Cannonier has beaten, has he ever defeated any other titleholder in the promotion? A glance at his record reveals that 'The Killa Gorilla' has defeated another champion in the UFC.
Back in 2019, he TKO'd all-time great middleweight champion Anderson Silva with a low kick at UFC 237. The win, however, took place in Silva's home country of Brazil, causing Cannonier to be jeered for defeating their national hero.