Should Robert Whittaker meet Jared Cannonier at UFC 254 in October, he knows he’s in for a fire fight.
Cannonier has established himself at middleweight as one of the hard-hitting fighters who can end a contest with the fight punch at any moment and, while that provides an intimidating challenge, Whittaker believes his own resume proves he can find plenty of success against such an opponent.
“Mate, he is a bit of a monster. He’s tough, he’s strong, he’s resilient. He just comes forward and he just hits you with that aggression and power, and he’s kind of got that unstoppable momentum sort of thing going for him right now,” Whittaker said, speaking to Submission Radio. “But the thing is though, I’m actually pretty good at monster slaying. When I went through the division the first time, everyone was a monster. I carved through them. And I respect his skillsets, I just think I’m better. I think I have the toolset to beat him, and I’m gonna put them to the test.”
Whittaker was last seen defeating Darren Till in Abu Dhabi in a tentative but exciting affair that saw him emerge with a tightly won decision. In the former champion’s eyes, the fight with Cannonier is going to be a different kind of night altogether.
“I have a feeling this one’s gonna be much quicker. We’re both gonna go out there and we’re both aggressive guys,” Whittaker said. “We’re gonna take it to each other and we’re gonna see where the chips fall. I guess I had a great game plan with Darren Till, the game plan going in, which was to use my entire skillset, be patient, and that got me across the line and I stuck to the game plan perfectly. And hats off to my coaching staff for just making sure I stuck to it, because I have a tendency to stray sometimes. But I think moving forward in the Jared Cannonier fight, I’m gonna do the same thing. I have an entire skillset at my disposal. I think I’m better than him across the board. I can take this fight wherever I want. As long as I’m leading the dance, I think he’s in a lot of trouble.
“I think I put him out and get him out at the end of round two. I think I’m gonna be too much. I’m gonna sting him too much. I’m gonna touch him up.”