The battle between Jared Cannonier and Sean Strickland could have massive implications on the rankings in the UFC middleweight division. The two are among the elite of the same and want to receive a chance to attack the title. For many, whoever wins here can become the next title challenger, especially if Pereira defends his belt.
This is the main event of the UFC Fight Night set for the upcoming Saturday, which will include a few more bouts that aren’t very interesting.
The Killa Gorilla lost his previous bout to Adesanya via unanimous decision, following five rounds in which he didn’t show some notable performance. Izzy was picking him apart all the time, and was dominant in all aspects of the battle. That was his first loss following back-to-back victories, one vs. Kelvin Gastelum and the other against Derek Brunson, whom he KOd, but only after escaping death previously.
Cannonier was a heavyweight, then he dropped to the light heavyweight before becoming a middleweight, where his raw power emerged and became a massive weapon. His hooks and punches are superb, but Cannonier, overall, lacks the cardio and technique to become a champ. Plus, his grappling isn’t good at all.
He has 15 wins and six losses, all of them against big names like Teixeira, Reyes, Blachowicz, Whittaker etc. Cannonier also has a few big wins, knocking out Anderson Silva, David Branch, and Jack Hermansson.
The Tarzan was on the rise, and he was given a chance to earn the challenger status when he met with Pereira. After six straight wins, Strickland was on a meteoric rise, but one massive hook coming from Pereira dropped the now No.7 in the division and sent him to the sleeping land.
The fact that he had six consecutive triumphs prior made Strickland a favorite for some, yet the way he lost was pretty terrifying. Plus it was a first-round KO. But Tarzan acknowledged his mistakes and got back to the gym as soon as possible and now seeks redemption.
He is a very good boxer, which is his primary weapon in the octagon. Feints, jabs, hooks, all that is at the highest possible level for Strickland. He also has very good cardio, and is aggressive all the time, trying to impose his tempo and rhythm. Tarzan holds wins over guys like Nordine Taleb, Brendan Allen, Krzystof Jotko, Uriah Hall and Jack Hermanson.
The raw power is on Cannonier’s side, as he weighs at least 10 pounds more than his rival. At the weigh-in, they will be the same, but Cannonier quickly restores his frame following the cut. Meanwhile, the cardio is on Strickland’s side, but his one-dimensional approach forces us to bet on Cannonier, whose punching power is similar to Pereira’s. That’s why we bet on the Killa Gorilla to win. Strickland got used to absorbing punches before attacking, but in this case, that isn’t too smart, and we aren’t sure that he has the ability to use hit-and-run tactics and stay alive for all five rounds.
Cannonier will get a chance to have that one power punch, and in our opinion, that will decide the event.
Pick: Cannonier 10/11 at BetXchange