Israel Adesanya took on Sean Strickland in the UFC 293 main event in Sydney, Australia. Coming into the fight, Adesanya was the middleweight champion and he was a huge favorite over the then-no. 5 ranked fighter Strickland. However, Tarzan pulled off a huge upset in the fight and dominated one of the greatest middleweight champions in recent memory.
After the 2nd loss in the last 3 fights, Adesanya did not participate in the post-fight interview with Daniel Cormier. Even UFC President Dana White did not get an answer out of Adesanya who reportedly whispered that he would rather speak later than at the heat of the moment. The Last Stylebender even echoed the same sentiments in the press conference after the contest and put his coach Eugene Bareman in charge of speaking duties.
Hence, a lot of fans were wondering what was really going on with with former two-time UFC middleweight champion of the world. Adding fuel to the fire, Adesanya also went on his social media accounts to post a cryptic message. Very soon after the fight, Adesanya exited the arena and hopped on a van with his family. He also recorded a short but cryptic message for the fans.
He added, “F*ck… It’s not that bad, nothing broken, a little touched up. We great baby, still thriving, it’s all good. I hate losing but I love living and I’m thriving. So yeah, hang out with the family first, and then I’ll address the people. But right now, I gotta put me first.”
Dana White grants Israel Adesanya a rematch after losing to Sean Strickland at UFC 293
After the fight, Dana White took to the stage to announce the biggest gate revenue in the entire continent with a massive $10,752,296. But the main thing that the fans wanted to know from the boss was what his thoughts on the fight really were. While the UFC President did not go overboard in his criticism, White did have some qualms about Adesanya’s performance.
According to Dana White, Adesanya was extremely slow inside the Octagon. Fans would definitely agree with the UFC head honcho as Adesanya looked out of sorts ever since Sean Strickland knocked him down in the first round of the fight. Since then, till the end of the fight, Israel Adesanya seemed to be wary of Strickland’s counter-punches and jabs. So, the question is, with such an underwhelming performance, is Adesanya deserving of a rematch?
Dana certainly thinks so. He added, “I think you do rematch, absolutely. I mean the rematch is interesting.” He also played up the possibility that Adesanya may have over-looked Strickland after two back-to-back wars against Alex Pereira.
So it will be interesting to see if Adesanya will accept the rematch or not. While his coach Eugene Bareman seems open to the possibility, will the fighter himself accept? Only time will tell.