Jared Cannonier in Sydney as UFC 293 backup for Israel Adesanya vs. Sean Strickland title fight

SYDNEY – Jared Cannonier is here in case the UFC needs him.

Upon his arrival in Sydney, Cannonier told MMA Junkie on Monday – Tuesday locally – that he is serving as the backup fighter for the UFC 293 headliner between middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and Sean Strickland.

Cannonier, 39, is 14 months removed from a title-fight loss to Adesanya. He went the distance with the champ but lost by unanimous decision at UFC 276.

Since then, Cannonier (17-6 MMA, 10-6 UFC) has won back-to-back fights against Strickland and most recently Marvin Vettori in a lopsided unanimous decision this past June. After beating Vettori, Cannonier said he was willing to be the UFC 293 backup before Adesanya had an opponent.

Cannonier’s win over Strickland, last December, was a split decision with 49-46 scores across the board – with two judges in favor of Cannonier and one for Strickland.

Neither Adesanya nor Strickland have missed weight in their careers, so it seems unlikely Cannonier’s services would be needed for that reason. Regardless, he’ll step on the scale to make 185-pound championship weight as main event insurance in hopes of securing a rematch one way or the other.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 293.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie