In a thrilling turn of events at UFC 293, Sean Strickland pulled off a stunning upset to dethrone the reigning middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya. The American fighter, who entered the Octagon as a heavy underdog and the fifth-ranked middleweight, delivered a remarkable performance that left fans and pundits alike in awe. The event took place at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, and the outcome was decided by a unanimous decision, with all three judges scoring it 49-46 in favour of Strickland.
First round knock down
The match got off to an electrifying start when Strickland caught Adesanya’s attention in the first round with a powerful left-right combination. The precision and force of the blows split Adesanya’s guard and sent him crashing to the canvas. Clearly hurt, Adesanya even turned his back to Strickland, who seized the opportunity to unleash a barrage of punches, nearly finishing the champion right then and there.
Throughout the fight, Strickland maintained relentless pressure and displayed excellent boxing skills. His constant forward movement kept Adesanya on the defensive, preventing the champion from finding his rhythm or executing his dynamic striking techniques that have made him famous in the MMA world.
Strickland’s strategy was centred around his solid and upright stance, utilising a consistent jab to connect with Adesanya repeatedly. Those stiff jabs and precise striking were enough to secure a comfortable victory on the judges’ scorecards, causing a major shakeup in the UFC middleweight division.
Dricus du Plessis opportunity missed
The path to this championship fight was filled with twists and turns. Initially, it seemed that Dricus du Plessis, fresh off a victory over Robert Whittaker, was next in line to challenge Adesanya for the title. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, du Plessis couldn’t make it to UFC 293. In response, the promotion decided to give Sean Strickland the opportunity of a lifetime, and he certainly made the most of it by capturing the middleweight belt in Australia.
Adesanya and Strickland rematch
Despite du Plessis’s focus on securing the championship, there are no guarantees in the aftermath of this monumental event. UFC President Dana White has hinted at an immediate rematch between Adesanya and Strickland, potentially leading to a lengthy wait for other contenders. Additionally, du Plessis may not be in the UFC’s good graces at the moment, as evidenced by White’s comments during the UFC 293 post-fight press conference. The future of the 185-pound division remains uncertain, but du Plessis remains steadfast in his belief that his reign as champion is inevitable.
As the dust settles on UFC 293, fight fans around the world eagerly await what’s next in the ever-evolving landscape of the middleweight division. One thing is for sure: Sean Strickland’s shocking victory over Israel Adesanya has left an indelible mark on the sport and promises exciting times ahead for MMA enthusiasts.