Jared Cannonier sent a loud message to the rest of the UFC middleweight division that a new contender has arrived.
On Saturday in Copenhagen, Denmark, the former heavyweight and light heavyweight turned 185-pound terror tore through Jack Hermansson with a vicious TKO finish in his first UFC main event. The end came just 27 seconds into the second round as Cannonier moved to 3-0 in the middleweight division.
“It’s easy. It’s mind over matter. It’s that simple,” Cannonier said after getting the win in front of a partisan crowd cheering for Hermansson. “I make it a point to not let anything that I don’t want to bother me, it’s not going to bother me.”
While the result didn’t go his way, Hermansson was on fire as soon as the fight got started as he was coming after Cannonier aggressively, seeking the takedown on multiple occasions. The Norway native was able to get the body lock early before tossing Cannonier with a highlight-reel suplex but he wasn’t able to maintain the position for very long.
Cannonier’s ability to power out and scramble free from the grappling attempts were a huge confidence booster for “The Killa Gorilla” as he forced Hermansson to stay standing with him.
On the feet, Cannonier constantly kept Hermansson on the defensive due to his fight-ending power, which made him hesitant to swoop inside for another takedown attempt. With each punch landed, Cannonier got Hermansson’s attention more and more, which eventually led to the end of the fight in the second round.
Almost immediately after the fighters came out of the corner, Hermansson was once again pressing forward but this time Cannonier took a step back and unloaded a massive uppercut that blasted “The Joker” as he was ducking his head for the takedown.
Once the shot landed, Hermansson was obviously rattled and Cannonier seized on the opportunity once the fighters landed on the ground. With his opponent clearly hurt, Cannonier began raining down a barrage of punches with each one chipping away at what remained of Hermansson’s defense.
The relentless attack led to referee Marc Goddard swooping in to rescue Hermansson before he endured any further punishment.
With three straight wins at 185 pounds including this victory over a top-5 ranked opponent, Cannonier has immediately become a player in the title picture with the middleweight tilte going up for grabs next weekend at UFC 243.
“There was a lot of people writing me off, probably because you don’t know me, because I don’t run my mouth,” Cannonier shouted. “I don’t use my mouth to let people know how I fight. You’re going to have to watch me to know how I do my thing.
“So the more you guys avoid me, the better I’m going to get and the harder it’s going to be to beat me. Eventually, it’s going to be for the belt. It might as well be next to give everybody else a chance to get their hands on it before I get too good for anybody.”