State of the middleweight division after UFC Vegas 16

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 16, there was some movement in the middleweight division. Fourth ranked Jack Hermansson (21-6) took on thirteenth ranked, Marvin Vettori (16-4-1) in the main event.

Vettori was the third opponent that was scheduled to face Hermansson, but The Joker was ready no matter who he fought. However, it was evident from the opening bell that he might have bit off more than he could chew.

Vettori was incredibly impressive at UFC Vegas 16. He dropped and nearly finished Hermansson in the first round of their fight. The rest of the fight, outside of the third round, Vettori controlled the action. He seemed to take the third round off for rest.

In his first UFC main event, Vettori shined. After the win over the fourth ranked fighter in the division, you should expect to see Vettori jump into the top five when the rankings come out this week.

In other middleweight news, the fifth ranked middleweight in the UFC, Yoel Romero, was recently cut by the promotion. The four-time title challenger is just one of many big cuts coming from the UFC according to Dana White.

UFC Middleweight Division Outlook

The middleweight division is in an interesting spot right now. There is a clear number one contender and that’s Robert Whittaker. The former UFC middleweight champion has only lost one fight in the last six years.

That fight was to the current UFC champion, Israel Adesanya. A rematch between the two will happen eventually considering Whittaker is 2-0 since the lost and defeated both men Adesanya was interested in fighting.

However, Adesanya is moving up to light heavyweight for his next fight to challenge Jan Blachowicz. We don’t know when Adesanya will return to middleweight, but the UFC champion insists he’ll be back to 185 eventually.

After Whittaker, there are a couple of matchups which could really make an impact on the division. Vettori is likely going to face Derek Brunson or Paulo Costa next. Whoever wins those fights might be right behind Robert Whittaker.

Jack Hermansson is still in the mix, but he needs to bounce back. A potential matchup for him could be the winner of the Chris Weidman – Uriah Hall fight in February. Or he could potentially fight Darren Till. Lots of moving parts, but exciting times in the UFC‘s middleweight division.

The UFC’s Light Heavyweight Dilemma

Corey Anderson

The UFC has a very complicated situation that is developing in their light heavyweight division. It all started back in the summer when Jon Jones announced that he would be vacating the light heavyweight championship following his incredible run.

Jones said he wanted to focus on capturing the UFC‘s heavyweight title. Following Jones’ departure, the UFC announced that Jan Blachowicz and Dominick Reyes would fight for the vacant light heavyweight championship.

Blachowicz went on to knock out Reyes to capture the title back at UFC 253. A fight was setup to take place before this matchup between Glover Teixeira and Thiago Santos. The fight was looked at as a title eliminator. The winner was said to be in line to face Blachowicz next year for the undisputed light heavyweight championship.

However, a wrench was thrown into the plans here. Last week it was announced that Israel Adesanya would be moving up for a UFC light heavyweight championship match. He’s expected to take on Jan Blachowicz at some point early next year.

Last Saturday at UFC Vegas 13, Glover Teixeira defeated Thiago Santos. The 41 year old won his fifth straight fight making him the clear number one contender in the light heavyweight division. However, because of the Adesanya fight, we have no idea when Teixeira will actually get a shot.

UFC’s Current Situation

When it comes to selling, Israel Adesanya challenging for the title is much bigger than Glover Teixeira for the UFC. Adesanya is a superstar who has the chance to become an even bigger star by capturing his second championship.

For the sake of the article, let’s say that Adesanya is able to defeat Blachowicz next year to capture the title. Glover Teixeira will just get the first crack at Adesanya right? Unfortunately for the 41 year old contender, it’s not that easy.

Adesanya recently said that he would still plan on fighting at 185 and defending both titles if he were to win. There’s a good chance that he would move back down after capturing the light heavyweight title to rematch with Robert Whittaker.

Even if he decides to stay at 205 for back-to-back fights, the likelihood that Teixeira would get the first title shot is low. If Adesanya defeats Blachowicz, the UFC will likely do everything they can to book the Adesanya – Jon Jones fight.

This would be the biggest fight that the promotion could possibly make. However, it would be at the expense of Glover Teixeira. With the Adesanya – Blachowicz fight in the works, the best thing for Glover’s chances is a Blachowicz win. However, if Adesanya wins, God only knows when Teixeira will actually get the shot he deserves.

UFC: Jan Blachowicz calls for fight with Israel Adesanya

Corey Anderson

The UFC‘s light heavyweight champion has his eyes set on his next opponent. Last month, Jan Blachowicz became the light heavyweight champion of the world when he knocked out Dominick Reyes to cap off an incredible run at UFC 253.

The UFC‘s Polish Power has stormed through his last four opponents on his way to capturing the title. Later that evening, Israel Adesanya put on arguably the best performance of his career when he retained his middleweight crown against Paulo Costa.

Since then, there hasn’t been a ton of specific talk about what’s next for Adesanya or Blachowicz. Dana White said last week that it made sense for Adesanya to fight Robert Whittaker again for the UFC middleweight championship.

However, Adesanya and his camp don’t seem very interested in the matchup. They are looking for a new challenge and that challenge could come in the form of the UFC light heavyweight champion.

Adesanya’s coach did say that the champion’s next fight could come at light heavyweight. This is something that Blachowicz seems interested in. The light heavyweight champ took to Twitter to callout Adesanya for a fight in March.

Will the UFC make it happen?

This would be such an interesting matchup for the UFC to make. On one hand, it would give them a chance to make Adesanya an even bigger star than he already is. Adesanya as a two-division world champion would blow up.

However, it wouldn’t be an easy fight for Adesanya. On paper, Adesanya should pick apart the light heavyweight champion, Blachowicz. Blachowicz would definitely be the slower fighter, however, his power is not to be ignored.

When he hits guys, they just seem to completely change. Many, including myself, thought he would be outgunned against Dominick Reyes. I thought the fluidity of Reyes would give him issues, but Blachowicz’s power just took over at UFC 253.

If Adesanya were to move up and win the UFC light heavyweight title, it could make the potential Jon Jones fight even bigger. Imagine Jones challenging Adesanya for the light heavyweight championship. Or maybe the two-division champion, Adesanya, would want to fight Jones at heavyweight.

However, I would strongly suggest that nobody overlook Blachowicz if this fight was to happen. Adesanya would be the clear favorite, but Blachowicz has power that can change any fight on a dime.

UFC Matchmaker: Jared Cannonier – Paulo Costa

This past weekend at UFC 254, Jared Cannonier (13-5) had his chance to cement his status as the number one contender in the middleweight division. He took on former middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker in the UFC 254 co-main event.

Cannonier had a couple of bright spots in the fight. He hurt Whittaker early with leg kicks, and wobbled Whittaker in the final minute of the fight. However, outside of those, it was a clear win for the former UFC champion.

Whittaker almost finished Cannonier early on in the third round with a headkick. The loss was the first loss for Cannonier since he dropped down to the middleweight division. Cannonier had been called out by UFC champion, Israel Adesanya, before the loss.

Now that Cannonier has suffered the loss, it’s back to the drawing board for the Killa Gorilla. In looking around at the rest of the middleweight division, I think there is a clear next step for the UFC. I think that the promotion should book Jared Cannonier – Paulo Costa (13-1).

Will the UFC make it happen?

This is the fight that just makes too much sense. Costa is coming off of a title loss to Adesanya at UFC 253. Prior to that loss, he was looked at as arguably the most terrifying contender in the UFC‘s middleweight division.

Cannonier just fought the former champion when he carried in a similar reputation. Both men lost in their big opportunities. The quickest way to have one of them re-establish their credibility in the division is to have one fight the other.

This would be a fantastic matchup for the UFC to make. The promotion is likely going to book the Adesanya – Whittaker rematch, and they could put this fight as the co-main event. The winner would re-establish themselves as the top contender in the UFC‘s middleweight division.

Should the UFC book Adesanya – Whittaker 2?

After Israel Adesanya defeated Paulo Costa at UFC 253, he made it clear on who he had his eyes on. In the middleweight division, he openly told Jared Cannonier that if he destroyed Robert Whittaker, he would get the next UFC title shot.

Those two men faced off yesterday at UFC 254. The former champion, Whittaker, was trying to get back to the title after losing it to Adesanya last year. Cannonier had been a destroyer at middleweight and he was also looking to challenge Adesanya.

Cannonier did have moments yesterday, but in the end, it was all Robert Whittaker. To me, Robert Whittaker proved he was the class of the division yesterday outside of Israel Adesanya. Whittaker clearly won the fight from the opening bell to the closing bell at UFC 254.

Cannonier did have his moments, but Whittaker’s speed and accuracy flustered him all night. Whittaker even was seconds away from finishing the fight in the third round. With the win yesterday, Whittaker cemented himself as the top contender in the middleweight division.

Adesanya hasn’t seemed interested in a rematch with Whittaker. This year he had his eyes on new blood like Darren Till and Jared Cannonier. However, Whittaker has taken both of those contenders out to show the world he’s ready for another UFC title shot.

What should the UFC do?

I still think that the UFC should try to make the fight between Adesanya and Jon Jones. It’s the biggest fight they could make at the moment, however, it appears that the promotion is heading in a different direction as of right now.

Dana White said yesterday after UFC 254 that Whittaker would be getting the next shot. Outside of the loss to Adesanya, Whittaker has never lost in the middleweight division. In fact, before Adesanya took over, many thought Whittaker would control the division for years to come.

Whittaker didn’t seem to fight like himself when the two fought at UFC 243. He fought to Adesanya’s strengths and got picked apart for it. The Whittaker we’ve seen in 2020 looks like a guy who could give Adesanya a real challenge.

Adesanya said he wanted to get back into the cage quickly while Whittaker wants to take some time given the fact that his wife is about to have a baby. Maybe the UFC tries to get a fight for Adesanya at light heavyweight in the mean time. However, Whittaker is clearly next for the middleweight crown.

Robert Whittaker defeats Jared Cannonier at UFC 254

In the co-main event of UFC 254, there was a contest between the top two contenders in the middleweight division. Former world champion, Robert Whittaker (21-5), took on Jared Cannonier (13-4). Both were looking to establish themselves as the top contender.

Cannonier was a focus heading into this one after UFC champion, Israel Adesanya, called him out. If Cannonier was to defeat Whittaker, he would get the next shot. Bobby Knuckles was looking for his second straight victory after dropping the title to Adesanya at UFC 243.

Fight Recap

As the co-main event of UFC 254 got underway, Cannonier opened with a massive leg kick. Cannonier looked extremely composed and patient to start. Whittaker was light on his feet looking for his openings. Cannonier dropped Whittaker with a leg kick in the opening minute.

Whittaker kept looking for shots up top, but nothing was landing. Cannonier continued to smash leg kicks as the first continued. Whittaker stung Cannonier with a straight right and really started to find his rhythm as the first round continued.

Whittaker’s speed was really bothering Cannonier as the first round ended. The former UFC champion opened the second round with a couple of crisp counters. Cannonier seemed to be a step behind Whittaker in the second round.

Cannonier started throwing leg kicks again, however, Whittaker was still doing good work up top. Both men were doing damage, but they had very different strategies. Damage was being added to Cannonier’s head while Whittaker’s legs were getting beat up.

Whittaker shot in for a takedown and briefly landed in with a minute left. Cannonier got right back up and started picking up the pace in the final minute. However, Whittaker was able to land a clean 1-2 just before the round came to a close.

The former UFC champ was bouncing looking for the 1-2 to open the final round. A stiff jab from Whittaker opened the striking. Bobby Knuckles landed a massive kick that sent Cannonier spinning. Whittaker followed up looking for the finish.

Cannonier defended well, but Whittaker landed in half guard. Whittaker was able to work his way to the mount position halfway through the round. Cannonier was able to scramble, but Whittaker was able to get his back.

Cannonier was able to fight his way back up to his feet. He looked very hurt when the two men separated. Whittaker continued to hurt Cannonier with jabs, however, Cannonier hurt Whittaker bad in the final minute. Whittaker was able to fight off Cannonier as the fight ended.

Results and next steps after UFC 254

After an entertaining co-main event at UFC 254, the judges gave the fight unanimously to Robert Whittaker (29-28, 29-28, 29-28). Outside of getting hurt in the final minute of the fight, it was a brilliant performance from the former champion.

Darren Till and Cannonier were being built up as popular contenders in the UFC‘s middleweight division. Adesanya voiced interest in fighting both, however, Whittaker defeated both of them in 2020. I know Adesanya defeated him last year, but Whittaker deserves another shot.

For Cannonier, he’s not done in the middleweight division. However, tonight showed some areas that he still needs to improve. He was just a step behind most of the night and that allowed Whittaker to pull away and ultimately get the decision victory.

UFC 254 Preview: Robert Whittaker vs Jared Cannonier

The co-main event of UFC 254 features a fantastic matchup in the middleweight division. Former champion, Robert Whittaker (21-5), will be taking on the Killa Gorilla, Jared Cannonier (13-4), for the top contender spot in the UFC‘s middleweight division.

For Whittaker, it’s a pretty quick turn around from his last fight back at UFC Fight Island 3. That night saw Whittaker take on and defeat Darren Till by unanimous decision. It was Whittaker’s first fight since losing the UFC middleweight title.

Bobby Knuckles entered the UFC in the welterweight division, however, his career took off when he moved to middleweight. Whittaker started his middleweight run 9-0 with wins over guys like Yoel Romero, Jacare Souza, Derek Brunson, and Uriah Hall.

He became the first UFC champion from Australia. However, Whittaker felt himself getting burned out. Then last year at UFC 243, Israel Adesanya knocked Whittaker out. Since then, Whittaker has rededicated himself to the sport and he’s trying to get his belt back.

Jared Cannonier is competing in his third weight class inside the UFC. He entered the promotion as a heavyweight. Then he transitioned to light heavyweight before ultimately moving down to middleweight which is his best weight class.

Since moving to middleweight, Cannonier is 3-0 with three stoppages. He’s finished Jack Hermansson, Anderson Silva, and David Branch since dropping down. He’s a terrifying force for the middleweight division and carries a ton of power.

UFC 254 Prediction

Tomorrow’s co-main event is going to be so much fun to watch. It’s going to be extremely entertaining, and I’m very torn on who I see winning at UFC 254. I think if you look at their skillsets overall, I lean towards Bobby Knuckles.

Whittaker’s game overall is fantastic, but his striking is where he shines. However, his chin really does scare me in this contest. Whittaker has been dropped in all four of his last UFC contests. That is something that cannot be ignored especially in this fight.

Cannonier had knockout power at heavyweight. It’s safe to say that he’s brought that knockout power with him down to the UFC‘s middleweight division. I think Whittaker makes sense on paper, but I have a feeling Cannonier is going to land something big tomorrow afternoon.

Prediction: Jared Cannonier by TKO – Round 2

Jared Cannonier is completely focused on his UFC title aspirations

This weekend at UFC 254, The Killa Gorilla Jared Cannonier (13-4) will face the biggest test of his fighting career. He’s going to be standing across the cage from former world champion, Robert Whittaker (21-5). Both men want to earn a crack at the UFC middleweight title.

Cannonier has had an interesting journey to get to this point. When he first broke into the UFC, Cannonier fought at heavyweight. He wasn’t concerned about his diet or nutrition, he just wanted to fight. Cannonier carried knockout power at heavyweight, but he was pretty small.

He then decided to move down to the UFC‘s light heavyweight division. While this division better suited Cannonier, he still wasn’t clicking on all cylinders. His body still didn’t look like it was in peak condition, and his performances reflected that.

That’s when Cannonier decided to drop to his third UFC weight class. The middleweight division, and that is where his career completely turned. Cannonier has looked like a destroyer at middleweight going 3-0 with three knockouts.

Cannonier has been so impressive that UFC champion Israel Adesanya called him out after UFC 253. However, Cannonier made it clear today that he’s not focused on who’s the champion, he just wants a piece of that UFC middleweight title.

Future UFC champion?

“My journey is to get to the title. Whoever holds the title is going to have that target on his back,” Cannonier told reporters at the UFC 254 media day. Cannonier made it clear that his only goal is to become champion and he’s not focused on whoever he has to fight to get there.

Whittaker is a massive test for Cannonier. The former UFC middleweight champion had a similar story to the beginning of his career. Whittaker started at welterweight, but moved to middleweight because he felt his body would perform better.

He has gone 10-1 in eleven fights at middleweight which includes him capturing the UFC middleweight title. Whittaker is very well-rounded and he poses big problems for Cannonier. Whoever rises above the other on Saturday night will have clearly staked their claim as the number one contender.

UFC: Israel Adesanya wants a quick turnaround

Coming off his domination at UFC 253, you would think Israel Adesanya (20-0) would want to just relax and soak in the victory. However, the middleweight champion already has his eyes set on the next challenge, and he doesn’t want to wait.

The UFC’s middleweight king is ready to fight. He doesn’t want to wait and his team is already talking to the UFC about his next potential fight. Adesanya went into detail on the talks with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani yesterday.

At first, Helwani suggested March or April for Adesanya’s next fight which was met with raised eyebrows from the UFC champ. Adesanya responded saying, “I’m fresh. I want to fight fast. I want to fight this year. We talked about it and I want to fight again this year. I ain’t f–ckin’ around Ariel.”

Next UFC opponent for Adesanya

The next logical step for Adesanya would be defending his UFC title against the winner of Jared Cannonier – Robert Whittaker. Those two fight at UFC 254 and the winner of that fight will be looked at as the clear number one contender in the middleweight division.

Adesanya said that he wanted to fight Cannonier after his victory at UFC 253. Of course, Cannonier has a tough test in front of him in the former UFC middleweight champion, Whittaker. Adesanya knocked Whittaker out in the second round when they fought to capture the title.

If Whittaker were to beat Cannonier, I wonder if Adesanya would want to do the rematch. His first victory over Whittaker at UFC 243 was very dominant. He might not be as interested in a rematch considering the way the first fight went.

Of course, there’s always the potential for the Jon Jones fight. However, I don’t see that fight materializing before the end of the year. In my opinion, the potential Jones – Adesanya fight would probably take place sometime in the middle of 2021.

There are a number of exciting options for the UFC‘s middleweight champion. He could also pull an Anderson Silva and move up to light heavyweight just to try it out. Either way, the last stylebender is planning on another fight in 2020.

What’s next for the winning fighters of UFC 253?

Last night at UFC 253, we saw two dominant performances in two title fights. The promotion’s first PPV back on Fight Island featured a fight for the vacant light heavyweight title and the undisputed middleweight crown.

Israel Adesanya (20-0) and Jan Blachowicz (27-8) put on incredible performances and walked out with UFC gold wrapped around their waists. In fights that were very even on paper, these two put forth dominant performances which left no doubt.

The main event failed to deliver a war like UFC president Dana White was hoping for, but instead we saw continued brilliance from Israel Adesanya. The co-main event saw a new king emerge in the UFC‘s light heavyweight division, and that king has some serious Polish Power.

What’s next for Israel Adesanya?

Last night, Israel Adesanya completely blew me away with his performance. I thought he was going to have a difficult time at UFC 253, but he got Paulo Costa (13-1) to play right into his hands. Adesanya finished off Costa in the second round of a one sided beating.

After the fight, Adesanya made it pretty clear who he wants in his next UFC title defense. Adesanya said that he’s looking at fighting Jared Cannonier (13-4) in his next fight. Cannonier has won all three of his fights by knockout since dropping to middleweight.

Cannonier does have his hands full as he’s fighting Robert Whittaker (21-5) next at UFC 254. Despite Adesanya’s dominant win over Whittaker back at UFC 243, a rematch would be a massive fight especially if Whittaker defeats Cannonier.

Whittaker is coming off of a win against Darren Till back in July. Safe to say that the UFC is going to have Adesanya face the winner of the middleweight clash that’s scheduled for UFC 254. Or perhaps a light heavyweight showdown with Jon Jones could be in the cards.

What’s next for the UFC’s Polish Power?

What more can you say about Jan Blachowicz? Blachowicz lost to Patrick Cummins back at UFC 210 in 2017. That was the second straight loss for Blachowicz who had just turned 34 years old. His UFC career didn’t look the brightest after that fight.

However, Blachowicz went on a run after that point that nobody could have seen coming. Jan Blachowicz has won eight of his last nine fights and it all led to UFC 253. Blachowicz knocked out Dominick Reyes (12-2) in the second round to claim UFC gold.

Blachowicz spent his time calling out Jon Jones in the post fight interview. However, despite the callouts, I don’t think Blachowicz will get Jones next. I think Blachowicz is going to be taking on the winner of the Glover Teixiera – Thiago Santos fight which is booked for November.

You would have to think that the UFC and Blachowicz want to see Santos win that fight. The lone loss that Blachowicz has on his record during this stretch came to Thiago Santos. Santos knocked Blachowicz in the third round of their fight.

If Santos is able to get by Glover, it will make for a very good rematch for the Polish fighter’s first UFC title defense. Either way, fans around the world should be very happy for Jan Blachowicz.