UFC News: UFC fighter knocks out opponent after motivation from kid in the stand

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If Jared Cannonier needed a spot of divine intervention after making his weightclass debut on short notice against a top 10 ranked opponent, he got it from an unlikely source

UFC 230 marked the middleweight debut of Jared ‘Killa Gorilla’ Cannonier, who was thrown into the deep end on first ask, stepping up on short notice to face number 7 ranked Middleweight David Branch.

However, if he was looking for a spot of divine providence to ensure that he would win in what many thought would be a stern stylistic test, he got it from an unlikely source.

As Cannonier was readying himself to make his way to the Octagon, he was encountered by a kid from the stands who kept repeating loudly to him that he could beat anybody. The kid then went on to specifically name drop the UFC Middleweight Champion and former Title challenger Yoel Romero as well, stating that Cannonier could beat any one of them.

The kid’s vocal support was such a direct and unexpected source of inspiration for Cannonier that he took off his fight jersey and threw it to the kid before making his walkout.

Cannonier would then go on to put on a terrific performance, knocking out David Branch early in the second round in emphatic fashion.

The next day, he would be interviewed on Ariel Helwani’s MMA show on ESPN, where he would narrate how his brief interaction with the kid just before he went out to fight felt like divine intervention that filled him with positive energy to go out there and perform.

Cannonier would then ask for the kid to come forward on the interview, thanking him for his positivity and mentioning that he’d like to sign an autograph for him too.

Amidst all the violence, it is certainly worth noting how a human moment shared between a fighter and a fan could have such a profound effect on the outcome of a fight.