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‘Eat your f—ing words!’ Fighters and fans react to Sean Strickland taking Israel Adesanya’s title at UFC 293

See what Conor McGregor, Dricus Du Plessis, Paulo Costa and more had to say about Strickland’s wild upset of Adesanya in Sydney, Australia.

In one of the biggest upsets in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) history, Sean Strickland just defeated Israel Adesanya in UFC 293’s pay-per-view (PPV) main event tonight (Sat., Sept. 9, 2023) to take the 185-pound Middleweight title back home to the United States.

And he made it look easy.

Indeed, no one expected Strickland to walk into Adesanya’s backyard and win against “The Last Stylebender.” Not even Strickland himself, who admitted after the win that he had serious doubts he could defeat the man who had already whupped several of his fighter friends.

But, as mentioned, “Tarzan” didn’t just eke out a win, he delivered a tight and controlled performance to take a unanimous decision, 49–46 on all three judges’ scorecards (watch highlights here).

It was as if Adesanya left his dynamic striking game in the locker room.

Strickland is not a flashy fighter. He used a basic tight boxing defense and careful distance control to protect himself from Adesanya’s attacks and never over-committed on his own. He kept constant pressure on Adesanya with his movement, always keeping the champ on the backfoot. He never strayed too close, though, unless it was to attack and then reset at distance.

As for Adesanya, to say it wasn’t his best performance would be an understatement. The proud crowd “Down Under” was left wondering what was up ... and he never seemed to get comfortable enough to flow like he has in the past. It’s not the first time he’s been all jammed up, though. His most recent fight against Robert Whittaker and the following bout against Jared Cannonier saw Izzy struggle to shift into higher gears.

Take a look at some of the stunned reactions from fans and fighters around the world on X (the site formerly known as Twitter):

For complete UFC 293 results, coverage and highlights click HERE.

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