Jared Cannonier was one of the more pleasant surprises at UFC 230 on Saturday night. Even though he was already preparing for a middleweight bout later this month, it was a short notice bout at a completely new weight all the same against a solid, veteran fighter.
It was a good win by any definition. Although the bout looked like it would favor David Branch early on, Cannonier stayed composed, and let his hands rip once he composed himself, earning a second-round TKO. The entertainment didn’t stop inside the cage. Cannonier was loose, and quotable during the post-fight media scrum.
At the post fight press conference, Cannonier started by talking about how opponents approach his style; Branch specifically.
“I felt un-threatened,” Cannonier said. “The only thing people can do when they get on top is hold me down. As soon as they gain leverage to land some shots, I’m getting up. I train at the best gym in the world. They know I’m a dominant striker, so they’re gonna close up all the holes in my game.”
As for what’s next for him?
“I’m gonna go home, kiss my wife, hug my kids, and go back to the gym on Monday and get right back to work.”
But hopefully big million dollar sponsors too.
“Everybody’s getting Popeyes and Carl’s Jr, which really isn’t conducive to fighting. But if there are high profile sponsors who want ripped abs on their billboard, hit me up.”
There was a lot of light, conversational sparring with Cannonier and the journalists. He went through the meaning of his socks. He talked about developing a taste for salads even if he’d prefer “fried chicken and t-bone steaks,” but the best part is when he finished talking about the meaning of his socks, giving and receiving energy, and how nice it would be to “receive a bonus” too. He wasn’t aware he had won a performance of the night bonus as he tried to take a sip of water.
When a journalist informed him (which you can catch at 4:50 of the video), he stopped. “Are you serious?!”
It wasn’t all idle conversation.
“The only thing that concerns me is getting better. I’m not gonna sit here and say that I’m the best. But I will say that I am continuing to get better.”