Sean Strickland delivered a shocking performance last night (Sat., Sept. 9, 2023) at UFC 293 live on ESPN+ pay-per-view (PPV) from inside Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia, as he shut down Israel Adesanya to claim the undisputed UFC middleweight title.
Adesanya was in control in the early going with good footwork, movement along the cage, and whipping leg kicks. Strickland remained in his face, though, and scored a massive right hand along the cage that stunned the champion towards the end of the first. Adesanya fell to the canvas and Strickland went in for the kill with a flurry of punches, but “Last Stylebender” was able to survive.
Adesanya seemed to recover in the second round and kept Strickland at bay with more movement and selective striking. Strickland came out of his shell in the third round to put Adesanya on his bicycle and regain some valuable momentum. Strickland kept the offense going in the fourth round with good power shots and jabs that put Adesanya against the cage. “Last Stylebender” couldn’t get much of anything going as he was constantly backpedaling to stay away from the advancing Strickland.
The fifth and final round saw another five minutes of control for Strickland. He was able to keep Adesanya on the defense the entire time by tracking him down along the cage. Strickland landed when he wanted to and found a home for another right hand that put the champion on notice.
In the end, Strickland did more than enough to deliver the unanimous decision win and one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. Check out the full fight video highlights below:
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