UFC middleweight contender Jared Cannonier set to return on December 2 against Roman Dolidze

By Fernando Quiles - September 24, 2023

When Jared Cannonier said he only wanted fights that would get him closer to another UFC title shot, Roman Dolidze isn’t the first opponent that came to mind.

Jared-Cannonier, UFC Copenhagen

Nevertheless, Cannonier has been booked to fight Roman Dolidze on a UFC Fight Night card scheduled for December 2. ESPN’s Marc Raimondi was the first to break the news.

The report came as a surprise to many. After all, it wasn’t long ago when Cannonier got chippy with a media member over the thought of fighting Khamzat Chimaev next because he didn’t feel the bout would get him closer to a title shot. Beating someone with the hype of Chimaev certainly seems like a bigger deal than getting past Dolidze, given that it’ll likely take just one more win for “Borz” to shoot up the middleweight rankings.

Since failing to capture the UFC middleweight title from Israel Adesanya back in July 2022, Cannonier has put together two straight wins. He nabbed a split decision victory over current middleweight champion Sean Strickland, and a unanimous decision win over Marvin Vettori. Dolidze’s last bout was a loss to Vettori.

Jared Cannonier Wanted UFC Title Shot Instead

At the age of 39, Cannonier has expressed urgency in trying to get another title opportunity. He even took to his Instagram account to tell UFC CEO Dana White to ditch an immediate rematch between Strickland and Adesanya, and have him fight Strickland for the 185-pound gold. Instead, he’s fighting down the rankings, while Chimaev would likely surpass him in the title hunt if he can defeat Paulo Costa at UFC 294 on October 21.

Initially, Cannonier told SportsKeeda that he wouldn’t take another fight right away if a middleweight title fight wasn’t already booked.

“I’m ranked at the top of the division. There’s a good reason why nobody’s saying my name. There’s people at the back of the pack who want to climb and claw their way to the top… they don’t know what they’re in for. I ain’t trying to look back at them… If they schedule the title fight tomorrow, then I ain’t gonna be like, ‘I gotta wait until the title fight.’ … But if the title fight ain’t scheduled, I ain’t gonna schedule myself up, tie myself up, and miss this opportunity. If you ain’t gonna tell me what’s up, If I gotta wait and see…”

It appears Cannonier waited long enough to realize he wasn’t getting the title fight right away.


Jared Cannonier UFC