Robert Whittaker recently gave his prediction for the upcoming middleweight matchup between Derek Brunson and Jared Cannonier.Whittaker, who has defeated both Brunson and Cannonier, analyzed the fight and picked 'The Killa Gorilla' to beat Brunson.
Whittaker reasoned that Cannonier's toughness will have a huge impact on the fight and will eventually prove too much for Derek Brunson.
While speaking to MMA Junkie, 'The Reaper' said:
"I think Cannonier takes that one. He's a tough dude. He's a tough dude with a very, very well-rounded skill set. Super hard to take down and keep down, more importantly. I think if Derek Brunson wins that fight, he takes him down, holds him down, pressures him out, and wins that way. But it's very hard to keep Cannonier down. I don't see how he can hold him down, especially after just over three rounds, not just five. I think Cannonier's a tough dude, he hits hard, he's got good eyes and he's got excellent wrestling takedown defense, not to mention his own physical powers go into it."
Watch Robert Whittaker's full interview with MMA Junkie below:
Derek Brunson vs. Jared Cannonier is scheduled for UFC 271 on February 12th. The pay-per-view will be headlined by Robert Whittaker himself as the Australian will look to avenge his loss and reclaim his title against Israel Adesanya.
Derek Brunson is on a five-fight winning streak, including a recent submission victory over Darren Till. The 38-year-old will look to take advantage of his momentum and secure a victory over Jared Cannonier to eventually get a title shot.
Cannonier, who was once considered the dark horse of the middleweight division, will look to pave his path to the title shot. He most recently secured a unanimous decision victory over former interim middleweight title contender Kelvin Gastelum.
Sean Strickland on Derek Brunson potentially fighting for the middleweight title
Another strong middleweight contender who is eyeing Israel Adesanya's gold is Sean Strickland.
Sean Strickland, who takes on Jack Hermansson next, stated during an interview that he believes he deserves a title shot more than Brunson. He maintains this idea even if the North Carolina native is able to beat Jared Cannonier at UFC 271.
The reasoning provided by Strickland was that Derek Brunson came up short against 'The Last Stylebender' when they faced each other in 2018.
While speaking to MMA Junkie, Sean Strickland said:
"If Brunson wins, I think I should get the title shot, if I beat Jack. If Cannonier wins, then he deserves it, but if Brunson wins... We've already seen that. I think I should get it."
Watch Sean Strickland's full interview with MMA Junkie below: