Combat Sports

Cannonier and Brunson Set for Title Eliminator at 185

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Jared Cannonier and Derek Brunson will meet on January 22 at UFC 270 according to Nolan King and John Morgan over at MMA Junkie. No location or venue has been finalized at this time, and neither has the fight. It is all but certain, to be booked, two UFC officials with knowledge of the event claim.

Massive Stakes at Middleweight

Derek Brunson (23-7-0 17-6-0 UFC) has been on fire recently, winning five in a row against names like Elias Theodorou, Ian Heinisch, Edmen Shabazyan, Kevin Holland, and Darren Till. The 37-year-old’s most recent win was complete domination of the Scouser Darren Till, winning by rear-naked choke in the third round in a fight many thought Till would win, but Cannonier controlled everything from the striking at distance and in the clinch, as well as ground game.

He meets one of his toughest tests in Jared Cannonier (14-5-0 7-5-0 UFC), who has won four of his last five against David Branch, Anderson Silva, Jack Hermansson, and Kelvin Gastelum. His most recent bout resulted in a decision loss to Robert Whittaker where he was picked apart for three rounds, being outstruck 69-53 and knocked down once.

Regardless, Dana White has said that this fight is a title eliminator for both men: the winner will get the next shot at the middleweight champion, whether that be current champ Israel Adesanya or former champion and challenger Robert Whittaker. Adesanya won their first fight in 2019 by second-round KO and has defended his belt against Kelvin Gastelum, Yoel Romero, and Paulo Costa. That bout is expected to take place around the same time, and possibly on the same UFC 270 card.

The middleweight bout between Brunson and Cannonier has very high expectations in both drama and technique, being that both Brunson and Cannonier are fantastic wrestlers and pack more than enough power to put formidable middleweights on the feet. The winner should get a title shot, and the loser might have more work to do, and fast: both men are 37 years old.

Both Brunson and Cannonier are extremely well-rounded, so this fight should come down to who can get the most of clinch and scramble situations. There have been major moments in these oft-overlooked situations that have swayed or won fights, and these two men are so good at their wrestling and about equal on the feet. Thus, they will have to ook for every single advantage they can get, taking the fight second-by-second and winning every little moment they can.

How do you see this fight playing out? It should be a good one, too. Let us know what you think in the comments- we’re always eager to hear your input!

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I’m a freshman at the University of Georgia who is a massive sports fan, and I have a passion for writing about the things I love, including MMA.