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White Proposes Cannonier vs. Whittaker For Title Shot Eliminator

Paulo Costa is going to challenge Israel Adesanya for his middleweight title at UFC 252. But who will be tapped for a title shot after that? Well, recently Dana White proposed that Jared Cannonier [1] battle Robert Whittaker [2] to determine just that.

Image Credit: UFC / YouTube

Cannonier vs. Whittaker?

At the recent, UFC Fight Island 3 card, Whittaker returned to the Octagon for the first time since his reign was ended by Adesanya last October. Whittaker took on Darren Till, and survived an early knockdown to score one of his own in round two.

From there, Whittaker started mixing in some takedown attempts and worked his way to a decision win.

Well, since then, White spoke with ESPN. [3] While reflecting on the extremely technical, but still entertaining fight between Till and Whittaker, White said this (quotes via MMA Fighting [4]).

“Two of the top guys in the world,” White said. “I thought there would be a lot more action, and it ended up being a lot more strategic with guys picking their shots.

It wasn’t the fight I expected, but it was a good main event.

“It was close. It was a razor-thin fight. I had it even going into that last round.”

Now that Whittaker is back on track, there’s no question he remains in the title shot mix. After all, prior to his loss to Adesanya, he had won nine straight, in one of the best runs in recent MMA history.

While talking about who could challenge for the 185 crown next, after Costa does on September 19th, White floated this idea.

“It’s so hard to call,” White said. “You got Cannonier in there. Do you do Cannonier-Whittaker? That’s a really good fight to find out who fights the winner of Adesanya and Costa.”


Yup. This sounds like a pretty, pretty solid plan. The other fighters who are ranked in the top five are Yoel Romero, who has lost three title shots, Costa, and Till.

Cannonier is ranked #3, on account of his three fight winning streak that includes wins over Anderson Silva and Jack Hermansson.

Not only does that fight make sense from a meritocratic perspective, on paper, it also has the makings of being something special.