UFC title challenger for the middleweight title, has politely thanked Israel Adesanya to be chosen for UFC 276:.
” “It’s fascinating to see how the champ picks and chooses his fights,” Cannonier said to reporters during a press conference for Saturday’s pay-per-view show at T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas. “And whatever he sees is intriguing to him. It’s all good .”
In other words, Cannonier isn’t going to read too much into Adesanya’s move. It doesn’t matter if it is disrespectful, but the end result is the same: the chance to become a UFC champion.
Cannonier might have misunderstood Adesanya’s first encounter backstage. He was a rising contender at the time and won a win over Derek Brunson in his UFC 230, debut. This came two fights after Branch stopped David Branch.
“We all know the dogs pissing and things like that,” Cannonier said. We don’t realize that me and Cannonier actually met backstage. I introduced myself because I was already a fan. I thought that was pretty cool.
“I congratulated him on his fight, because I got to watch his fight, and it was kind of interesting, because he was respectful, but it felt like he was kind of sizing me up at the same time.
“I congratulated him on his fight, because I got to watch it. He was respectful, but it felt like he was trying to get me up.
Cannonier wasn’t particularly looking to mark his territory. He said that he was simply “giving his energy.” Adesanya may have gone a different direction.
It took four years to go from interesting to intriguing. Adesanya is now the dominant titleholder after a series of title defenses, and Cannonier has overcome obstacles to make himself an attractive option to the champ.
“It was pretty interesting that here we are now,” Cannonier continued. “We even took a picture with Mike, the post-fight ops guy, so we might be able to find that somewhere. So this thing has been brewing for quite a long time, way before the videos that we’ve seen out there.
“I happy to be in this position. I’m happy to have the challenge that Israel is going to bring. It’s likely to be a challenge on me at a higher level, which I intend on doing. I’m excited, but I’m more prepared than exciting.”