‘Jared Cannonier Is the Dark Horse of the Middleweight Division’- Israel Adesanya Makes a Bold Statement

Published 08/19/2021, 9:14 AM EDT


Reigning UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya terms ‘The Killa Gorilla’ Jared Cannonier as the dark horse of the division ruled by him. ‘The Last Stylebender’ detailed his opinions in the recent episode of his YouTube channel, ‘FREESTYLEBENDER’.

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While analyzing the upcoming middleweight bout featuring Cannonier and Gastelum, the New Zealander said, “It’s an intriguing fight for many reasons. I know Jared is the dark horse of the middleweight division. Regardless of his last loss, don’t sleep on him.” 

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Adesanya further added, “And cause I fought Kelvin Gastelum, and I know how tough he is to deal with, so regardless of his last recent slides, don’t sleep on him, coz you will get slept. And I don’t think Jared is gonna do that.”

Jared is one of the elites of the division. He first started out as a heavyweight a decade back before turning into a light heavyweight. He finally settled himself into a middleweight. This gives him a significant advantage over Gastelum as ‘The Killa Gorilla’ has a reach of 77.5″ compared to Gastelum’s 71″.

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Gastelum, meanwhile, has turned up for the middleweights in the entirely opposite direction to Cannonier. He started out as a welterweight in the UFC. But because of his frequent problems related to weight cuts, UFC forced him to switch on to middleweights.

Jared Cannonier vs Kelvin Gastelum- recent stats

Cannonier has 2 wins in his last 3 fights. He will enter the bout against Gastelum on the back of a loss to former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker at UFC 254. ‘The Reaper’ picked up a hard-fought unanimous decision win against ‘The Killa Gorilla’.

Prior to this loss, he picked up a TKO win against Jack Hermansson at UFC on ESPN+ 18 and a TKO win over former middleweight champion Anderson Silva at UFC 237.

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 17: Kelvin Gastelum poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 17, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Gastelum, meanwhile, has blown hot and cold in his recent fights. He last fought against Robert Whittaker this April and lost via unanimous decision. Prior to that, he had picked up a unanimous decision win over Ian Heinisch at UFC 258.

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It will be interesting to how these middleweight giants perform when they meet at UFC Vegas 34 main event. A win here could move either of them closer to a title shot.

What did you make of Adesanya’s comments? Let us know.

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Akshyay Srichandan Mahapatra

552 articles

Akshyay Mahapatra is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He wished to combine his passion for the UFC (that he has been following since 2008) as well as his love for writing. This motivated him to enter the world of combat sports journalism.

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