After a strong middleweight debut at UFC 230 last year, Jared Cannonier was immediately matched up against former long-time champion Anderson Silva. The two will co-headlined UFC 237 this Saturday, which takes place in Silva’s home country of Brazil.
Currently ranked number ten in the official rankings “The Killa Gorilla” is looking to further climb up the ladder with a win against Silva. And he is planning to do it in spectacular fashion.
“I’m a lot faster than a lot of people he’s fought, and I hit a lot harder than a lot of people he’s fought,” Cannonier told MMA Fighting. “That gives me a better chance of actually knocking him out, especially if he wants to stand up and let me hit him, like he has done to some other people.
“That, and I have supreme confidence, I know I can knock him out. All I gotta do is touch him. He’s no different from the next man. He can get knocked out, too. All I gotta do is touch your chin or hit the up side of your head, you know? Or I can just wrap my arms around your neck and choke you out.”
Cannonier, however, is making these statements more in a matter-of-fact way than just smack talk.
“Everybody works the same, everybody has a brain, a heart, a liver, and I’ve learned many ways how to take those punches,” he said. “So, yeah, I’m more than confident that I can finish him. Anybody is capable of finishing anybody. In this sport anybody is capable of getting a finish. That’s only a matter of how. Can we create those moments?
“That’s just simple physiology, right? You hit any man on the jaw and they are going to go unconscious,” he added. “He’s good at not getting hit in the head, he’s got really good head movement, he knows how to uses his hands and get his hands in the way of stuff like that, and I’m aware of all these things.
“But, again, I know what I’m capable of, I know I can get around all that stuff. It’s only a matter of when. Let the fight play out. I know we’re gonna have to fight, we’re gonna get close to him and hit each there. When he’s close enough to hit me, I’m close enough to hit him.
Cannonier does have utmost respect for “The Spider,” whom he also thinks has become better with age. At the same time, he is simply confident about the preparations he’s made, so far.
“Anderson, I think he’s as good as he’s always been,” Cannonier said. “He’s older, that means he has more experience, he’s had more opportunity to see what’s going on. He’s seen the fight game change from what it was to what it is now. He’s still here, competing. I think he’s got that wisdom, you know? And he’s still fit enough to come in there and fight.
“I think he’s a better Anderson,” he continued. “I think he’s still capable of [winning at a high level]. I think it’s gonna be the best Anderson that anybody’s ever seen. That’s the way I have to approach it. If I approach it any other way, like, ‘yeah, he’s old, I’m gonna do this to him,’ that’s just being cocky as opposed to being confident. And I’m not cocky, I’m pure confidence. That’s what camps work for, to prepare for this. I’m ready.”
UFC 237 will be headlined by a women’s strawweight title fight between Rose Namajunas and Jessica Andrade.