Jared Cannonier wins split decision in back-and-forth battle against Sean Strickland at UFC Vegas 66


It wasn’t always pretty but Jared Cannonier did enough to win a split decision over Sean Strickland in the final fight of the year at UFC Vegas 66.

The difference between the two fighters was Cannonier’s power and Strickland’s volume. Cannonier, the former title challenger, was always looking to land heavy, big punches. Although Strickland was able to land a powerful jab during the five round affair, he could not match Cannonier’s ability move forward and find a place with big hooks and overhand strikes that probably helped him win.

Judges Derek Cleary and Junichiro Kamijo both scored the fight 49-46 for Cannonier with judge Sal D’Amato giving it 49-46 for Strickland. Cannonier still got the nod, closing out the year with victory and bounce back from the loss to Israel Adesanya in July.

“I thought I had it 3-2 so I was pretty confident that I won,” Cannonier said afterwards. “I thought I did enough. Sean’s got a very good eye for that distance. He was able to read me when I was getting ready to come. He was doing a good job of not just walking forward like a freaking zombie. There were many answers to his question, but this [leg kick] worked .”

Faced with a power puncher, Strickland tried to keep Cannonier off his feet and used his jab. Cannonier responded with a string of kicks in an attempt to take down Strickland’s leading leg. They continued trading on their feet.

Strickland was meticulous in his tactics. He continued to punch Cannonier with straight punches and then slipped out of Cannonier’s way, before he could absorb much from him. Cannonier was beginning to get frustrated by the movement and began to talk to Strickland, asking him whether he would like to fight in the middle.

Strickland reacted with another round of jabs, before getting more aggressive with solid hooks to try to get Cannonier to back off.

It wasn’t until the third round that Cannonier managed to uncork his greatest combination in the fight. He marched Strickland and threw several strikes in succession. A big hook connected clean but Strickland ate the punch effectively and circled away before more damage could be inflicted.

In a matter of moments Cannonier was able cut the cage and stepped into Strickland’s pocket. This was where he finally was able unload some of his most vicious punches. Still, Strickland absorbed the shots well enough to escape the position and reset in the center of the cage.

Cannonier knew the fight would be close for the final four rounds and was letting go of his control. He managed to get Strickland down with some clever overhand punches, which countered Strickland’s constant jabs. Cannonier won the victory because Strickland had begun to show some wear from all the fighting.

At 38, Cannonier remains a top ranked middleweight but he’s hoping this win will propel him back into the title picture as he seeks another shot at good in the near future.

” I would love another chance, and sooner than usual,” Cannonier stated. Cannonier stated, “Anybody who is not me should get the title fight. This title fight is what we are shooting for .”

Source: https://www.mmafighting.com/2022/12/17/23514753/jared-cannonier-wins-split-decision-battle-against-sean-strickland-ufc-vegas-66-main-event?rand=96749