UFC 254: Whittaker v Cannonier odds and predictions
Guy Giles is predicting a finish as middleweight contenders Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier meet in the co-main event of UFC 254 on Fight Island.
Whittaker v Cannonier odds:
The co-main event of UFC 254 sees former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker take on rising contender Jared Cannonier.
After current champ Israel Adesanya dispatched Paulo Costa with ease at UFC 253, this should essentially serve as an eliminator for the next title fight at 185lb.
Both men come into this with wins under their belt after Whittaker rebounded from losing the title with an impressive win over Darren Till.
‘The Reaper’ was largely untroubled by the dangerous Liverpudlian, coming out with a unanimous decision victory to set up this trip to Fight Island.
He now faces one of the most dangerous fighters in this division, with Cannonier reeling off three knockout wins in a row since dropping to middleweight.
‘The Killa Gorilla’ has put away David Branch, Anderson Silva and Jack Hermansson to become one of the top contenders at 185lb.
This is an extremely tough fight to pick, and that is reflected in the odds.
Neither fighter is the clear favourite, with Whittaker priced at to win and Cannonier at .
Whittaker v Cannonier prediction:
It was thought that Whittaker might be over the hill after his brutal loss to Adesanya, but that performance has since been put into perspective.
His win over Till proved he can still mix it with the best at 185lbs, while Adesanya’s subsequent domination of the division suggests Whittaker was simply beaten by the better fighter.
There are still question marks over his ability to withstand damage, however, and that damage is sure to come against Cannonier.
‘The Killa Gorilla’ is an imposing presence at middleweight, having previously fought at both heavy and light heavyweight in the UFC.
His power has translated beautifully down the weights, with three consecutive TKO wins placing him firmly in contention for a title challenge.
Whittaker is the more technical fighter of the two, and will need to establish his jab and leg kicks early on if he is to have a chance.
He surrenders a significant 4.5 inches in reach to Cannonier, though, and that could prove crucial.
Whittaker’s tendency to lunge at opponents is likely to be even more pronounced on Saturday as he looks to close the distance, and Cannonier should take full advantage.
Even if he doesn’t put him away early, Cannonier’s power will show over the course of the fight and another finish should come.
Cannonier to win by KO, TKO or disqualification
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