Whilst UFC 254 might be headlined by Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje, there is a great bout scheduled to take place just underneath it.
Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier will square off against each other in the Octagon in which is being billed as the #1 contender’s match for the UFC Middleweight Championship. Current champion, Israel Adesanya will likely be tuned in for this bout after defeating Paulo Costa in their UFC 253 match last month.
The Australian Whittaker is ranked the current number one in the division and has managed to produce multiple wins over Yoel Romero, and notable victories over Jacare Souza, Derek Brunson, and Uriah Hall. The 29-year-old comes into the fight with a 22-5-0 record and will be fighting for the first time since a win via unanimous decision against Darren Till at UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Till in July.
Cannonier has notable victories over Anderson Silva and is coming off a KO/TKO win against Jack Hermansson on July 25, 2020 at UFC Fight Night: Hermansson vs. Cannonier. He holds a 13-4-0 record, therefore a notable challenger for Whittaker at UFC 254.
Both fighters are explosive and are known to finish the fight. It will be interesting to see how the fight will play out when Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier do finally come face-to-face with each other.
Can Robert Whittaker beat Jared Cannonier?
There is no denying that both men are incredibly talented fighters and both have the ability to record a victory over the other, thus providing bettors with an exciting prospect. They should look to use the app guide on Gamble USA to ensure they get the very best experiences, though.
Whittaker proved just how explosive he is with his victory over Till, whilst Cannonier has looked a much better and improved fighter after dropping down to the middleweight division. Adesanya has also noted just how much a threat he is to his title, as well.
A win over the Australian would likely catapult him into the top of the rankings, however Whittaker is a hugely formidable foe. The experienced 29-year-old has suffered just one defeat in his last 11 fights and will likely go down as one of the greatest middleweight fighters in the history of UFC and the sport of MMA.
Whittaker continued to change his approach against Till in their last bout and managed to keep his opponent guessing throughout each of the five rounds, before he managed to secure the victory.
As such, it would be difficult to bet against the former champion, especially given that Cannonier has moments of sloppiness that can creep in his technique.
Cannonier might as well-rounded as Whittaker at Middleweight
There is no doubt that he has a great takedown defense, there are just concerns regarding his explosive striking ability; which was evident in his fight against Dominick Reyes. He has improved since then, but whether he has improved enough to defeat one of the best remains to be seen.
Cannonier might also have some rust as well as he has not featured in the Octagon in over a year – his last bout was in September 2019 because of a torn pectoral muscle injury. His recovery and his gameplan in the three-round fight are going to be vital factors going forward.
Whittaker to take the win
However, Robert Whittaker will have an edge over Cannonier in the three-round fight. Whittaker manages distance well, can quickly change gears, and has fared better against explosive strikers in the past.