UFC planning a headliner between Jared Cannonier and Sean Strickland

Daniel Cunningham
Sep 28, 2019; Copenhagen, DEN; Jared Cannonier (blue gloves) is interviewed after defeating Jack Hermansson (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Royal Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

The UFC is currently working towards finalizing a big time main event in the middleweight division. Ariel Helwani reported this evening that the promotion is working towards booking Jared Cannonier (15-6) against Sean Strickland (25-4).

If finalized, the bout would take place at a Fight Night on October 15th. Recently, the UFC announced that the headliner of their November MSG card would be the middleweight title fight between Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira.

Well, the last two men who fought both of those guys were Jared Cannonier and Sean Strickland. Both fights took place at UFC 276. Strickland got his shot against the elite kickboxer Alex Pereira.

While seemingly having a big grappling advantage, Strickland decided to stand with Pereira. Proved to be a terrible idea and Strickland got knocked out in the first round. That was his first loss in the middleweight division.

Prior to that loss, Strickland had won five straight fights to get him in title contention. Getting a fight with Cannonier keeps Strickland right in the title picture and gives him a good shot to stay close to the UFC title.

UFC Middleweight Contest

This Fight Night main event is a great opportunity for Strickland to bounce back, but it’s also a great opportunity for “The Killa Gorilla”. Jared Cannonier finally got his shot at the middleweight title against Israel Adesanya at UFC 276.

Cannonier was just a step behind all night and never could land anything significant. The champion did an excellent job of keeping Cannonier at his range and preventing him from doing serious damage. Cannonier had moments, but not enough to come close to victory.

Since debuting in the UFC’s middleweight division, Cannonier has gone 5-2 with wins over Derek Brunson, Anderson Silva, Jack Hermansson, and Kelvin Gastelum. His two losses came to Israel Adesanya and former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker.

This is a huge fight for the middleweight division. Whoever wins stays right in the title picture while the loser takes a massive step back.