Indeed, 100 pay-per-view (PPV) events prior at UFC 193 in Melbourne, Holly Holm knocked out Ronda Rousey to take the women’s Bantamweight championship (watch highlights). Now, Sean Strickland gave that legendary moment a run for its money, taking the Middleweight title off Israel Adesanya “Down Under.”
The mixed martial arts (MMA) world is split on whether Strickland’s performance deserves the credit or Adesanya’s performance is to blame. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle, and Adesanya’s coach, Eugene Bareman, sounds certain a second fight will restore order to the universe.
“You have nights like this sometimes,” Bareman told Submission Radio after the fight. “The thing is what makes these fighters the best in the world and these teams the best in the world, is because they don’t have these nights often. But we had one. And we had one because Sean and his team, they were just better tonight. They were better than us. Like, I just can’t really sugarcoat that.
“You don’t just go in one night and just not perform — it’s all for a reason,” he continued. “And most of the time that reason is that the opponent does certain things that make you not perform. So, you can’t take nothing away from Sean. Was he the most unlikely champion ever? Even surpassing Michael Bisping? Some would say yes, and that’s just such a brilliant story for him.
“And, the rematch will be the end of that story,” Bareman concluded.
Bareman was largely mum on what adjustments his team would make to ensure Adesanya emerged victorious against Strickland in a rematch, which UFC President, Dana White, has confirmed the promotion is interested in setting up next.
But, he did imply we’d see more offense from “The Last Stylebender.”
“Israel has to inflict more pain and damage on this man,” he said. “And what that’s going to mean is we have to find a way to do it and minimize how much harm we kind of put in front of them. Because when you try to hurt someone, the cost of that is that you’re putting yourself in harm’s way for a little bit. And our job is to find a way that you can stay just inside enough to inflict some proper damage, but still mitigate the risk.
“And so, you’re going to see a fight,” he aded. “You’re going to see a real good fight. An intriguing rematch against a great opponent and a great team. And if this is the end of the interview, then I want to congratulate Sean and Eric. And yeah, I’m looking forward to doing battle again.”
As for when a rematch could happen, and whether Adesanya will take some time off before stepping back into the cage? There was no indication of that at this time. Perhaps Adesanya will address that in one of his own YouTube videos in the coming weeks.
For complete UFC 293 results, coverage and highlights click HERE.