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Dana White: Jared Cannonier next for Israel Adesanya with UFC 254 win

ABU DHABI – Dana White confirmed that a pivotal middleweight clash at UFC 254 has title implications.

Jared Cannonier is slated to face Robert Whittaker on Oct. 24 in the headlining bout on “Fight Island,” and White says that if Cannonier wins, then he’s next in line to face UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, who successfully defended his title this past weekend with a TKO finish of Paulo Costa.

Speaking at the UFC 253 post-fight news conference Saturday, White praised Adesanya (20-0 MMA, 9-0 UFC) for targeting Cannonier (13-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) if victorious at UFC 254, and the UFC president echoes his sentiment.

“Yeah, that’s the fight if Cannonier wins, and I love that about Israel,” White said. “He’s ready for who’s next. ‘Who else thinks they can beat me?’ The kid is an absolute stud. Tonight, congratulations to him and Costa; they broke a bunch of record tonights, it’s unbelievable. Their staredown – when we went live, their staredown was the biggest staredown ever. Most viewed ever in UFC history. It beat Khabib (Numagomedov) and Conor (McGregor) by 1.5 million when the show started. I don’t know what it’s at now.”

Since moving down to middleweight, Cannonier has finished David Branch, Anderson Silva and Jack Hermansson, all by TKO. If he can add another former UFC middleweight champion to his resume, it appears all parties are on board for him to become the No. 1 contender at 185 pounds.

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