- Jared Cannonier is now the third-ranked middleweight in the UFC.
- “The Killa Gorilla” is scheduled to fight Robert Whittaker on October 24th.
- If the UFC 253 main event falls apart, Cannonier is willing to replace one of the fighters on short notice.
We’re now less than a month away from one of the biggest UFC middleweight fights of all time. Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa have been verbally sparring for years and it appears they’ll finally face off on September 26th. If somehow this fight is scrapped, however, Jared Cannonier is ready as a backup for the UFC 253 main event.
A huge number of fights have been canceled over the past few months. It’s been the most difficult year in history to set up major MMA events. Today, we’re going to look at what could lead to Cannonier moving into the headlining spot at UFC 253.
Let’s get into it!
The UFC’s Return to Fight Island is Just Two Weeks Away!
Earlier this year, UFC President Dana White made headlines around the world by announcing he’d booked a private island to host international fight cards. Fans the media let their imagination run wild. Some envisioned a tropical island featuring the UFC’s Octagon situated directly on the beach.
Things ended up being significantly less exciting.
News eventually broke that “Fight Island’ was actually Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, the location for several UFC events in the past. Despite the slight letdown, most were simply happy to see the UFC putting on major events again featuring international fighters. Over the month of July, four major fight cards were held on this island.
Things seemed to have gone smoothly on Fight Island. After the final event, Dana White told the media that the promotion would be back. With major travel restrictions set in place around the world, this island is one of the only places capable of hosting fighters from so many different countries.
It’s now confirmed that the UFC will return to Fight Island on September 27th. In total, five events will take place in Abu Dhabi. It’s no surprise that the card most fans are looking forward to is the one headlined by Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa.
These two middleweight strikers have been calling for a fight with each other for years. Later this month, the bad blood will finally be settled. If things go wrong, however, one of the world’s best middleweights is willing to step into the fight on short notice.
Jared Cannonier Comments on Possibility of Last-Minute Fight at UFC 253
Officials within the UFC are having some of the toughest past few months in the history of MMA. Never before have so many major fighters been forced off of cards with just days before it’s scheduled to begin. It’s a common trend nowadays and one that’s offering opportunities to other fighters.
Jared Cannonier is certainly taking notice of these fights being scrapped. This week, he spoke with the media and revealed he’s willing to step in as a replacement for the main event of UFC 253. If either Adesanya or Costa is forced off the card, he’ll be the first to jump in.
“If anything happens with those guys, I’m more than willing and ready, that’s my plan. That’s the plan I have ahead of me. I’m getting ready for that date, Sept. 26. That’s the date I’m getting ready for. If that doesn’t happen, I’ll be more than ready for Oct. 24.” Jared said. “Given the times with COVID-19 we’ve seen fights change, main events change, what, 60 percent [of the time] was it last year from the original booking. I’m ready. I’ve been ready since my pec tore. Now it’s time. That’s where I stand right now. I’m more than ready. That’s not going to be a hard weight cut. It’s not going to be a last minute thing for me. I’m going to be ready for that date. That’s just it.”
This is likely what officials within the UFC wanted to hear. Cannonier is already slated to compete on October 24th. If things turn sideways at UFC 253, however, he’s willing to move into the main event on short notice.
Israel Adesanya would likely be willing to accept this fight on short notice. He’s repeatedly called Cannonier one of the top contenders in the middleweight division. It’s unclear if Paulo Costa would be willing to take the bout, though. Fortunately, this blockbuster title fight is still scheduled to take place.
Here’s Where to Find the Best Odds on Adesanya vs. Costa
Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa are two of the most devastating strikers in the history of the UFC. Incredibly, neither man has ever attempted a takedown in their UFC careers. It’s easy to see why so many fans are looking forward to this matchup.
With just over two weeks to go, it seems like this is a fight that will stay together. Both men see the massive opportunity they have in this bout. Hope is that they’re doing everything possible to stay healthy leading into fight night.
Bovada, one of the best online sportsbooks in the US, is now offering some incredible odds on this fight. For now, Adesanya is listed as the -160 favorite. Costa comes into this bout as the +130 underdog.
There’s still a chance that these odds could change as the fight draws closer. If one of these men are forced to drop out and Jared Cannonier steps into the main event of UFC 253, odds for whoever he faces will likely become available through Bovada, as well.
It’s an interesting time for the UFC’s middleweight division. We could see things completely shaken up over the next couple of weeks. Make sure to stay tuned for updates!
Would you be happy to see Jared Cannonier in the main event of UFC 253? If the original main event stays together, who do you think wins? Let us know in the comments section below!