Cannonier perfect opponent to test Chimaev’s cardio

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Michael Bisping is all in for Jared Cannonier to be Khamzat Chimaev’s next fight.

With both men gunning for a title shot, Cannonier (17-6 MMA, 10-6 UFC) called out Chimaev (13-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) for a five-round fight.

Cannonier almost fought Chimaev when he was offered a short-notice opportunity this past October at UFC 294, but ended up tearing his right MCL shortly after getting the call. Kamaru Usman got the fight instead, and almost beat Chimaev when he rallied late. Bisping thinks Chimaev needs to address his cardio issues before fighting for the belt, and sees Cannonier as the man to do it.

“I would like to see him against a Jared Cannonier (type of fighter), because if he can’t take him down, and he can’t fix this problem with the cardio, then he’s going to have a real long-term problem going forward,” Bisping said on his YouTube channel. “But who knows – maybe there’s a reason why he was running out of gas, OK? Probably because he doesn’t pace himself. He goes forward straight away, wrestles.

“When you try to take someone down, that is the most cardio-taxing element of mixed martial arts. Trying to wrestle someone, trying to grab hold of another grown man and force them to the floor – using technique, of course, but a lot of power goes into it. I can tell you from experience, that is absolutely exhausting – especially when you’ve got another world-class opponent who knows how to stop takedowns fighting against you.”

Bisping thinks former champion Sean Strickland also makes sense for Chimaev, but thinks Cannonier is the fight to make.

“Jared Cannonier, in my humble opinion, is the perfect opponent,” Bisping said. “There’s others out there. There’s Sean Strickland. They had a little moment in the gym, as well. So Sean Strickland-Khamzat Chimaev, take my money. I’d love to see that one. But Khamzat-Jared Cannonier – that would be great.”

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