Jared Cannonier rained on many a Brazilian’s parade in the co-main event of UFC 237 on Saturday night, and he was booed lustily for doing it.
After spending much of the opening round with MMA legend Anderson Silva in a nip-and-tuck battle for position, Cannonier knew he just had to be patient. He knew he couldn’t fall for any of the Silva’s mind games inside the Octagon and, most importantly, he knew he couldn’t leave himself open to be countered by the crushing power of “The Spider.”
Cannonier (12-4) knew a lot of things going into the fight and he knew he was going to win. What the MMA Lab product didn’t know, however, is exactly how he was going to defeat Silva in front of thousands of rabid fans in his hometown.
“The fight went the way we planned,” he said after he defeated Siva. “We definitely did not expect to get the win from a kick, but we will take it.”
The kick “The Killa Gorilla” is referring to is the one that not only ended the middleweight encounter, it might very well end Silva’s career. As Silva was coming inside to throw a punch, Cannonier racked the inside of Silva’s right leg on the side of the knee. Once the strike connected, Silva shrieked in pain and crumbled to his side. Cannonier quickly pounced on the wounded future Hall of Famer, but referee Herb Dean knew Silva’s knee was injured and halted the contest.
Silva writhed in agony on the canvas, clutching his knee. It’s too early to know the extent of the injuries Silva’s knee endured, but Cannonier got the win regardless. It’s the second in a row for the Alaskan fighter and by far the biggest triumph of his MMA career. Unfortunately, Cannonier wasn’t able to fully enjoy his victory as the crowd inside Jeunesse Arena in Rio De Janeiro angrily booed him when he was announced as the winner and while he was being interviewed in the Octagon by Daniel Cormier.
“I went out there with the intent to not react to the fans,” he said. “But the booing, I just had to rub it in their faces a little bit.”
Cannonier seemed a bit perturbed by the fans’ reaction, as if he purposely shredded the former UFC middleweight monarch’s knee. Before he could elaborate on any questions asked of him, Cannonier simply stood in the Octagon while boos and other venoms showered him from the seats.
“I respect Anderson, I have all the respect in the world for him,” he stated. “But if the fans are not going to respect me, I am not going to respect them.”