UFC 293: Sean Strickland in tears after ending Israel Adesanya’s reign to become new middleweight champ

Sean Strickland just won the middleweight title at UFC 293 in a monumental upset in defeating Israel Adesanya. Known for his controversial comments, Strickland was an underdog in the fight that saw him outclass the Nigerian MMA fighter. 

Dana White, Eugene Bareman, and Adesanya showered praise on the new champion for his exceptional display of striking defense and offense. Strickland remarkably defeated Adesanya on his feet and not with grappling.

Sean Strickland beats Israel Adesanya

The Last Stylebender was a big favorite, with one anonymous bettor losing a quarter of a million dollars on him. The main event in Sydney, Australia was expected to add Strickland to his reel of knockout finishes. However, Sean had other plans as he dominated the fight from start to finish.

Sean Strickland

Sean Strickland is actually a replacement as the original challenger, Dricus Du Plessis could not make it due to injury. Izzy was dropped by Strickland in the first round with a right hand, but the Nigerian-Kiwi fighter recovered to continue the fight. Even though he came back to win the second round, Strickland piled on the pressure in the championship rounds to earn a unanimous decision victory.

Considering the fact that virtually nobody gave Strickland a chance against Adesanya, the victory is sure to hold even more significance. Dana White mentioned in the post-fight press conference that the two biggest upsets in the men’s and women’s divisions have now happened in Australia.

Sean Strickland breaks down in tears after winning first UFC title

Winning a UFC title isn’t a cup of tea, and only a select few ever get the chance to contend for it. Against all odds, Strickland defeated Adesanya to claim the title in Australia. Strickland was in tears when the UFC president placed the belt around his waist. 


A visibly emotional Strickland gave props to Izzy in his post-fight speech. He also thanked the crowd who cheered for him throughout fight week. The newly crowned champion dedicated his victory to the fans who stood by his side even though he was a big underdog.

‘The Last Stylebender’ didn’t specify whether he wants an immediate rematch. Dana White is open to the idea, but it remains to be seen what Adesanya is contemplating.

With the victory, ‘Tarzan’ has a lot of options as potential contenders. If a rematch is not next for the American, fresh matchups against Paolo Costa, Khamzat Chimaev, or Dricus Du Plessis could be on the horizon. Strickland’s victory also raises hopes for former champion Robert Whittaker who is 0-2 against Adesanya.

What do you think of Sean Strickland’s victory over Israel Adesanya? Who do you think is next for the reigning champion? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section. 


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