Middleweight title challenger Jared Cannonier is planning on applying smart pressure on reigning champion Israel Adesanya at UFC 276.
Cannonier is set to challenge Adesanya for the middleweight title in the main event in Las Vegas on Saturday night, and said that he has the full arsenal of techniques at his disposal against the decorated striker. His plan is to make sure he applies them in the right way, at the right time, to secure the victory.
Speaking to the media at UFC 276 media day at the UFC Apex, Cannonier explained how he sees a path to victory over Adesanya, who remains undefeated as a middleweight.
“It can be a clean fight, if you want to control that torrential ocean of techniques that he’s throwing at you,” he said.
“That’s a tall order right there – that’s a hard task to do. But it’s possible, you know?”
That possibility, according to Cannonier, depends on his ability to make sure that he fights where he has the edge, and to take advantage of the openings as they arise during the matchup.
“I don’t need to throw as many techniques as he’s throwing at me to make it work,” he said.
“So I plan on using all the right skills, all the right techniques, to make the fight so I can be the beneficiary of this exchange, so I can win.
“Yes, I will be employing techniques, but there won’t be no tit-for-tat sort of thing. I’m not going to go technique for technique with this guy.
“Like I said before, I’m not trying to have a Fight of the Night with him. I want to get a Performance of the Night. I want to go out there, handle my business (and) put my hands on him. If I could touch him once and put him asleep, that’s perfect for me, you know? But a fight’s a fight. He’s going to resist naturally. And I’m prepared for that.”
The one fight that potentially offers Cannonier a blueprint for success is Adesanya’s lone defeat. The Kiwi unsuccessfully moved up in weight to challenge then-champion Jan Blachowicz
for the light heavyweight title.
Blachowicz’s wrestling advantage proved crucial in the Pole’s victory over Adesanya, but that’s didn’t come as a revelation to Cannonier, who said he knows exactly how he can defeat Adesanya by using the skills he has at his disposal.
“There’s stuff to be taken from each and every one of those fights,” he said.
“I’m not gonna sit here and say, ‘He can be wrestled! Jan proved it!’ I don’t need Jan to tell me that this man can be wrestled. He’s a man. And wrestling is attuned to wrestling other men. So yeah, he can be wrestled.
“He can be punched, too. He can be kicked. He can be, you know… He can get it!”