This Saturday night in Las Vegas, Israel Adesanya will headline International Fight Week when he defends the UFC middleweight championship against Jared Cannonier. This is a bout that the champion has been eyeing up for quite some time now and finally, we’ll get the chance to see it on what is typically the biggest weekend of the year in mixed martial arts.
Adesanya has already been able to turn back a who’s who of challengers since winning the undisputed title in late 2019 but when it comes to ‘Tha Killa Gorilla’, you just get the feeling some fans are underestimating what he’s capable of.
City Kickboxing, however, have the opposite mentality, and they’re instead focused 100% on the challenge that lies ahead.
In a recent episode of UFC Embedded, Eugene Bareman went into detail about Cannonier’s biggest strength and how they’re aiming to combat it.
“Cannonier is literally our biggest challenge, coming down from heavyweight, we know there are physical attributes that are gonna really give us trouble if we don’t take care of them. So we normally do kind of a fight simulation, and a worst case scenario training which we call the spider. So, it signifies the last hard training of our camp.”
The spider, or spyda, is specifically designed to test the fighter in question ahead of a tough fight that lies ahead.
The long road to the top
Despite being 8-1 as a heavyweight in MMA, Cannonier made the decision to move down to 205 pounds in early 2017. After going 2-3 in the division he went to a whole new extreme by cutting to middleweight, setting him on the path to a title shot at the age of 38.
He’s since put together an impressive 5-1 run and with the only defeat coming at the hands of Robert Whittaker, it’s clear to see why ‘The Last Stylebender’ has had his eye on this guy for so long.
He’s not the favourite for a reason but this certainly isn’t someone we should be taking lightly heading into fight night.