After coming up short against titleholder Israel Adesanya last year, Jared Cannonier viewed his UFC Fight Night main event against fellow former title challenger Marvin Vettori as an opportunity to get back to a shot at the title. After an impressive showing, Cannonier scored a clear unanimous decision over Vettori to put himself in the mix for another shot at the 185-pound title.

The UFC had previously confirmed that the UFC 290 bout between Discus Du Plessis and former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker would determine the next contender for Adesanya. Next in line would seem to be the winner of the bout between Vettori and Cannonier, who had both lost previous shots at Adesanya.

Aside from the two losses to Adesanya, Vettori had gone 9-1-1 in the UFC, the lone other loss coming against Whittaker. Meanwhile, Cannonier had gone 6-2 at middleweight after dropping from heavyweight to light heavyweight all the way to 185, with the losses coming against Whittaker and Adesanya.

Both men landed hard punches early that buzzed the other, but neither was able to score the quick knockout. Despite Cannonier being the heavier one-shot hitter, Vettori seemed content to engage in a pure striking battle, landing good shots when Cannonier stood flat-footed in punching range in the opening round.

The cannonier flipped the script in the second round, sitting down on his shots and landing with big power while Vettori didn’t let his own punches go. With no threat of return fire, Cannonier blasted away with big punches and knees, drawing blood and sending Vettori to the canvas and reeling when the fight returned to the feet.

The cannonier slowed some in the third round but did briefly put Vettori on the ground and used the positional advantage to draw blood from Vettori’s nose. Despite the damage, Vettori continued to press the action, briefly putting the Cannonier down and flurrying on the feet as the action went back to standing.

The fight remained on the feet for the majority of the 25 minutes, with the exception of a few Cannonier takedowns as he continued to pour on the offense. Vettori was game to continue even as Cannonier broke the record for significant strikes landing in a middleweight bout.

After five rounds of action, the cards read 49-45, 49-46 and 48-46, all for Cannonier. While he knew that he was not the next man up for a championship opportunity, Cannonier made it clear he’d be ready to step in if anything was to go south in the UFC’s plans.

“You know, I want the title shot,” Cannonier said. “That’s what I’m here for, I want the title. I’m willing and ready if anything happens or anything to get me that title shot.”

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