UFC 254: Jared Cannonier vs. Robert Whittaker Predictions
Robert ‘The Reaper’ Whittaker lost his title last year when he faced unbeaten Israel Adesanya. Since then, Whittaker has bounced back with a July-win over Darren Till and is already back in the octagon this weekend. His opponent, Jared Cannonier is riding on a 3-fight knockout win streak and is looking to make it 4 in a row this weekend.
With a 12-3 UFC record, Whittaker is a true veteran. Two wins against Yoel Romero, and wins over Darren Till, Jacare Souza and Brunson – Whittaker has faced killers in his division.
Against Cannonier, I like Whittaker. Cannonier is a power striker who most likely needs a knockout to win this fight. In the UFC, Whittaker is unbeaten in decision fights, whereas Cannonier is 2-2 on fights scored by the judges.
Whittaker was KO’ed by Adesanya, sure, but Israel has very special striking, in many ways incomparable to the striking of a guy like Cannonier. I also like how well-rounded Whittaker is. With a background in wrestling, he knows how to get you to the ground if he’s in a compromising position. Cannonier’s biggest advantage his 4-inches in reach, but other than that, I think the ball is in The Reaper’s court. Cannonier has consistently fallen flat against the big competition: Dominick Reyes, Jan Blachowicz, and Glover Teixeira. I like The Reaper in this matchup.
Prediction: Robert Whittaker via 2nd round KO.