Jared Cannonier details ‘small miscalculation’ with weight cut for UFC 244 backup role

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NEW YORK – Jared Cannonier was contacted 11 days away from UFC 244 to see if he could serve as a potential backup for the Kelvin Gastelum vs. Darren Till middleweight co-headliner.

He immediately accepted.

It turns out Cannonier’s services weren’t needed in the end. There was concern over whether Till (17-2-1 MMA, 5-2-1 UFC) would get his travel visa approved in time for the event, so Cannonier (13-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) took the opportunity to potentially step in against Gastelum (15-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC).

Cannonier ultimately missed weight by 0.8 pounds, and he said it came down to a small error in weight-cutting tactics that wouldn’t have otherwise happened if he had more preparation time and was actually going to fight.

“Just small miscalculation with the variables,” Cannonier told MMA Junkie of his weight cut. “Take all the variables into consideration, it’s nothing. For me, it’s not a bad thing. I can make weight any time whenever I have a fight coming up. Small miscalculation; it won’t happen again.”

Although he certainly would’ve liked to compete at UFC 244, which takes place Saturday at Madison Square Garden, Cannonier is fine with how the situation played out.

Cannonier hopes to get paid his agreed upon amount from the UFC despite the miss, and now he will move on to bigger business.

That business includes a potential championship fight with Israel Adesanya (17-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC), who is currently without a clear-cut top contender after Paulo Costa recently underwent bicep surgery that’s expected to sideline him until at least April.

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With an undefeated record fighting at 185 pounds, Cannonier said he’s the guy who should get the fight.

“That’s what I deserve,” Cannonier said. “My record shows that I should be fighting for a title. My name should be in the mix. Everyone it talking about Yoel (Romero), but he’s lost his past – no matter how close they were, no matter what people think – the record shows he’s lost his past couple fights. I think I am the more viable contender right now to be put in that title fight. I’m not going to go begging for nobody’s crumbs. I’m going to beat anybody’s ass that’s standing in front of me.”

Adesanya has spoken highly of Cannonier in the past, and “The Killa Gorilla” said he holds the champion in the same regard. He wants the belt, though, and hopes the UFC affords him the opportunity.

“I win (against Adesanya), because that’s what I do,” Cannonier said. “It’s not about winning for me; it’s about performing. It’s about me being the best and being there, and winning is just a consequence of that. It’s all about being the best fighter no matter who is in front of me. … I’m not going to ask or beg nobody for anything. I know what I deserve. I know what I’m worth, and I’m worth a lot more than what they’re paying me. I’m not out here begging for anything. I’m going to earn mine.”

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