In what could possibly be a fight to find the next middleweight title contender, Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier fought in the co-main event of UFC 254. Their fight went like this.
Bout 11: Robert Whittaker (21-5) vs. Jared Cannonier (13-4) (Middleweight)
Cannonier started the fight with a leg kick. Whittaker was tripped by a leg kick later in the first minute of the fight. A right cross from Whittaker backed Cannonier up in the third minute of action. The lead leg of Whittaker started to show bruising late in the round. Whittaker somewhat connected with a lead jab and head kick in the final minute of the round.
Whittaker spent the first half of the second round throwing a high volume of jabs. Cannonier refused a takedown in the fourth minute of the fight. Whittaker landed a two-punch combo in the final minute of the round.
Cannonier got hurt in the final round after a two-punch combination from Whittaker was finished with a head kick. Cannonier ran away from Whittaker, slipping and falling to the ground moments after. Whittaker took top position on the ground, moving into half guard shortly after. Whittaker moved into full mount with three minutes left to work. A cut opened on Cannonier’s face at some point during the round. Cannonier gave up his back, although he was able to work up to his feet with two minutes left in the fight. A punch from Cannonier seemingly wobbled Whittaker in the final minute of the fight. Whittaker shot for a takedown, clinching with Cannonier until the round ran out of time. Going to the judges, Whittaker was given the win (29-28, 29-28 & 29-29).
RESULT: Robert Whittaker def. Jared Cannonier via Decision, Unanimous
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