Despite the fight being set-up on less than two weeks notice, the co-main event of UFC 294 added a lot of hype to the card this past Saturday.
In a number one contender match-up at middleweight, Kamaru Usman moved up for his 185-pound debut to face Khamzat Chimaev.
Whilst Chimaev may have got his hand raised, we learned a lot about both men involved in the high stakes showdown in Abu Dhabi, both positives and negatives.
In an interview with Submission Radio, Jared Cannonier spoke about watching Usman up at middleweight and how he saw glimpses that would make his own “The Killa Gorilla” moniker also fit the former welterweight champion.
“Usman looked like a damn gorilla defending that rear naked choke. Had his knuckles on the mat, dude wrapping his hand around his neck and realized that there’s nothing there. I thought that was pretty interesting to see. So yeah, I saw a little gorilla in Usman just sitting there with the dude on his back trying to choke him out but he just sitting there with his hands on the mat holding his ground like that so that was pretty cool.”
Jared Cannonier Says That He Learned A Lot About How To Deal With Khamzat Chimaev By Watching His Fight With Usman At UFC 294
A report by ESPN revealed ahead of UFC 294 that Cannonier was set to replace Paulo Costa in facing Chimaev before an injury led the promotion to offering the fight to Usman.
Having accepted the fight off the back of his consecutive wins, one of which being over the current champion Sean Strickland, Cannonier knows that he is still within touching distance of a title shot.
Speaking to Submission Radio, the former middleweight title challenger revealed some notes that he took down after watching Chimaev get the win via a majority decision.
Without giving away too much about what he saw, Cannonier spoke about the way that he believes you should approach a grappler with the pedigree and dominance of Chimaev.
“I thought that was pretty cool to see his wrestling on display but you know, this is something that I’ve already known, learned throughout my career that you can’t really defend a wrestler by trying to avoid those wrestling exchanges.
Now I understand MMA, you want to keep it on the feet and try not to engage in those situations but when you got a wrestler that’s that good, you know, who’s that dedicated to his craft and who is going to get on you eventually, he’s going to make contact with you, it gets to a point where you’re going to to have to start engaging with him. I don’t want to say too much and show my hand but oh yeah, I saw some things and it’s not nothing with him in particular, it’s just wrestling in general.”
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