UFC 293 has been a great viewing experience for the fans and the main event was worthy of the hype. Sean Strickland stepped up as an unlikely replacement for Dricus du Plessis, who pulled out of the contest due to an injury. While many expected Strickland to be a fodder for the middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, what unfolded in the first round of the fight, has shut up a lot of critics.
Israel Adesanya is one of the best, if not the best, counter-strikers in the game at present. As a result, he likes to invite his opponents in close vicinity to land his trademark counterpunches.
However, it nearly backfired as Strickland dropped Adesanya with a huge right hook. It nearly put the champion out of consciousness with moments left in round 1. The situation has made Dricus du Plessis question what would have happened if he was in the Octagon instead of Sean!
You can be so glad I’m not the one in there with you tonight #ufc293— Dricus Du Plessis (@dricusduplessis) September 10, 2023
Wow! Did not see that coming— Dricus Du Plessis (@dricusduplessis) September 10, 2023
Taking to his X (formerly Twitter) wrote, “You can be so glad I’m not the one in there with you tonight.” After the fight, he was just as surprised as everyone else in the building by the result. du Plessis wrote, “Wow! Did not see that coming.”
It remains to be seen what holds for the South African fighter. Recently, UFC President Dana White sounded as if he was unhappy with Dricus du Plessis pulling out of the UFC 293 event. Hence, the Protea fighter may have to put himself through another top contender to finally have a crack at the championship.
Sean Strickland beats Israel Adesanya at UFC 293 to become the new middleweight champion
The first round of the UFC 293 main event was not the only round where Sean Strickland shined. Throughout the contest, Israel Adesanya had a hard time figuring out Strickland.
Adesanya was missing all his traditional tricks and he also seemed exhausted after the first three rounds with bumps and bruises all over his face. By the time there were only 10 seconds left in the final round, Strickland knew he had the job done and started to taunt Adesanya.
The judges had the fight 49-46 for the American fighter and judging by Adesanya’s reaction after the fight, he agreed. “The Last Stylebender” also did not stick around for the post-fight interview and it just showed how disappointed he was with the result. It is also his second loss in his last three fights. While he got a chance to avenge his UFC 281 loss to Pereira, it may not be the case for his loss to Strickland at UFC 293.
UFC commentator and famous podcaster Joe Rogan was also stunned by the result. While he was appreciative of what Strickland was able to do, he was also caught off-guard by Adesanya’s inability to land any significant strikes. During his Fight Companion JRE podcast, He also speculated if Adesanya’s emotions got the better of him or not. On the other hand, Robert Whittaker was absolutely buzzing with the result.
Congratulating Strickland, Whittaker wrote, “The division has movement. Congrats @SStricklandMMA great fight mate. Can’t wait for the future.”
The division has movement. Congrats @SStricklandMMA great fight mate. Can’t wait for the future 👊🏽— Robert Whittaker (@robwhittakermma) September 10, 2023
What do you think the future holds for Israel Adesanya? Let us know in the comments below.