That is according to UFC commentator Jon Anik. Strickland shocked the world to beat Adesanya via a unanimous decision to win the middleweight belt.
The fight was Adesanya’s first defense of his title that he had acquired from Alex Pereira. Prior to the fight with Strickland, Adesanya vowed to make things ‘look easy.’ However, in the fight Strickland nullified his opponent and even dropped Adesanya in the first round.
The loss has cost Adesanya a potential monster fight with Dricus Du Plessis even if a rematch is being contemplated. And looking back, Anik felt that Adesanya was not focused.
Anik On Adesanya
“There were a lot of people asking me if there was betting value on Sean Strickland, and I didn’t even necessarily know how to answer that question. Was he capable of this masterpiece? Yes. Can he execute like this again? I would think probably. But I do believe that the other side discounted him a little bit and didn’t necessarily understand what he was capable of, and they paid the ultimate price,” Anik stated
And yet, Adesanya may not get the chance to gain revenge. Strickland has numerous fighters that he could face. Du Plessis is the number-one-ranked contender, who has already indicated his desire to fight Strickland.
Strickland After Adesanya
“Me & @SStricklandMMA had the biggest upsets of 2023 so let’s settle this like men I’m ready. After that @stylebender can get a hiding in Africa. I don’t want to fight the amateur that fought on Sat I want to beat the best Adesanya, take some time and get your sh*t together first,” Du Plessis said
In addition, Jared Cannonier has already called out Strickland even after having beaten him in 2022. But given that there is a belt on the line this time, there are more reasons to run things back. And this could have the impact of leaving Izzy on the sidelines.
“I beat the champ and got two checks to prove it. He wasn’t walking me down screaming in my face either. Nobody does that to me. The only other MW to beat him has ascended. He fought him differently than he fought me as well. 🤔. On top of that he said it himself that he ‘fought like a b*tch’ so here’s your chance to redeem your man card @strickland_mma_ let’s actually do the man dance brother,” Cannonier revealed
Ultimately, Strickland is in no rush to face his next opponent. And in any event, Dana White has hinted that a rematch could take place. After all, Izzy has shown his ability to gain revenge following his defeats.
The win over Pereira had shown that after he stopped the latter following his loss in their first bout. So moving forward, the middleweight division is in a good place to have the biggest fights out there, which can only benefit the fans.
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