The
UFC Fight Night 216
headliner wasn’t the type of bout that
produced a definitive winner.

That was reflected in the final scorecards, as Jared
Cannonier
captured a contentious split-decision triumph over
Sean
Strickland
on Saturday night at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The
verdict drew
harsh criticism
from Strickland in the aftermath, and not a
single round was scored unanimously by cageside judges Derek
Cleary, Sal D’Amato and Junichiro Kamijo. Cannonier, whose approach
included a barrage of low kicks and occasional bursts of power
punches, believed that he did enough to earn the nod on the
scorecards.

“I definitely thought I won at least three of the five rounds,”
Cannonier said at the post-fight press conference. “I felt
confident that I won three out of five rounds. On top of that, I
felt confident that I won the fight in general.”

As expected, Strickland did some of his best work with his jab
while confounding his opponent with movement and distance
management. Cannonier said to a previous experience in a title bout
against ex-champ Israel
Adesanya
at UFC 276 this past summer proved to be beneficial on
Saturday night.

“I would say he’s good at what he does. He’s really good at moving
forward, putting that jab out there, and then getting out of the
way,” Cannonier said. “If I gave him the look like, ‘Here I come,’
he was already aware, primed, and either ready to counter with his
check hook or whatever combination he was going to throw or just
move away and avoid it all together. But that was one thing we had
been working on leading up to the [Israel] Adesanya fight, entering
on our opponents without getting overextended, and once you get in,
then you can start opening up with the big strikes that I love so
much.”

While it wasn’t necessarily the type of performance that will
propel him right back into another title shot, Cannonier has won
three of his last four in the Octagon and rebounds from the loss to
Adesanya. That, he believes, is enough to keep him near the top of
the championship discussion.

“If not a title shot, hopefully the contender’s match [is next],”
Cannonier said. “That’s what I would hope for. Either a title shot
to begin 2023 or the fight that gets me a title shot in middle or
late 2023.”





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Jared Cannonier Felt He Won Three Rounds Against Sean Strickland at UFC Fight Night 216