Jared Cannonier Is ‘Picking Up Right Where I Left Off’ After Broken Arm
Jared Cannonier talked about his injury, his plans and his past. He said injuries can’t stop him, and he is in the best shape of his life.
When Cannonier shared the octagon with Robert Whittaker, he suffered a broken arm injury and was defeated. But now, the fighter is back and will share the octagon with Kelvin Gastelum at UFC on ESPN 29. This middleweight bout is going to be the main event of the evening.
“As far as my energy goes, I’m picking up right where I left off,” Cannonier said. “You know, I’m a better fighter than I was back then. Even going through the injuries, I’ve gotten better, and no, I didn’t take any steps back. No… Losing that fight to Robert the way that I lost it, can’t nobody take anything away from me with that.”
Cannonier, 37, said the first attempt at the surgery “didn’t take.” But the second time around, the surgery went through, and he is now recovering. He added that he’s trying to stay in shape with help of physical therapists.
“It wasn’t fun to go and see the X-rays and see that the bone wasn’t quite healing as fast as I thought,” Cannonier admitted.
“Usually they wait a whole six months until they make that declaration, but he knew that I didn’t want to take that chance, and I was like, ‘Do the surgery. Let’s get it going.’ Like, OK, let’s go, and we did it, and it took this time. The arm feels great, and I’m ready to get back to work,” he added.
The fighter is currently No. 3 ranked in the UFC and he said he’s disappointed to be fighting against the No. 9 ranked fighter. Still, he added that he has respect for his upcoming opponent.
“As far as my career goes, that’s not the one that I want, so Kelvin isn’t ideal, given the position I want to continue to fight – I want to fight for the title,” he said. “But in a sense, Kelvin is ideal because I respect him a lot, you know?
“I understand who he is and what he is and what he’s done from his performances. I can see the things that he’s capable of, and I just know the sport. I know the game, and we know how fights go, so I know I can see what Kelvin has brought in his last fights, and I’m well aware of the danger he presents in there.”
Gastelum has lost four fights from his last five contests. He is only 29 years old, but his resume includes top fighters.