Jared Cannonier wants No. 1 fight vs. Khamzat Chimaev: ‘Let’s see what he’s got in five rounds’

Jared Cannonier is open to taking out Khamzat Chimaev on his way to a title shot.

Cannonier (17-6 MMA, 10-6 UFC) was offered Chimaev on short notice this past October for UFC 294, but wound up tearing his right MCL shortly after getting the call. Chimaev faced former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman instead, edging him out by majority decision.

Chimaev (13-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) thinks he’s owed a title shot after UFC CEO Dana White declared his fight with Usman as a No. 1 contender, but Cannonier thinks he should be included in that discussion, too.

“It’ll sound cool to say, ‘I’m your huckleberry.’ It does sound cool,” Cannonier told Inside Fighting. “At this point in time, he’s ranked No. 9. I’m down to make it happen, as long as it’s clear that this is a contenders match. … When I get back, if they’re not going to give me the title (shot, then I want) the next best thing, the thing that gets me to the title. And if you say that’s Khamzat, let’s do it.”

Cannonier is targeting a return at the end of March. If he gets Chimaev next, he thinks it should be a five-round fight to really prove who should be the next title challenger.

“They really want to push him to the title. He really wants to get to the title, and I’m right here,” Cannonier added. “I shouldn’t have to say, ‘Hey, I want a title shot.’ It’s clear and evident that the ass I’ve been kicking says that I want the title shot. So if it’s not going to be the title next, I will definitely fight the next guy in line. And if it’s Khamzat, let’s make that happen. Let’s do a fiver – let’s see what he’s got in five rounds.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie