Surging contender Sean Strickland explains why he should be next in line for a fight against UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.
Strickland defeated Jack Hermansson via split decision in the main event of this past Saturday’s UFC Vegas 47 card. While it was far from the most exciting fight of Strickland’s career, it was still a huge win on paper over a top contender in “The Joker.” With the win over Hermansson, Strickland is now riding a six-fight win streak overall, including a perfect 5-0 mark since moving up to the middleweight division in October 2022. By beating Hermansson, Strickland will move one step closer to breaking into the top five of the division.
What’s interesting for Strickland is the timing of his win over Hermansson. That’s because this coming Saturday at UFC 271, the champion Adesanya defends his belt against former champ Robert Whittaker in a rematch. Should “The Last Stylebender” get by Whittaker, there won’t be any fresh challengers in the top-five at 185lbs aside from Jared Cannonier, who fights Derek Brunson on the same card. But if Brunson beats Cannonier, then Strickland automatically becomes the highest-ranked fighter who the champ hasn’t fought.
Speaking to the media following UFC Vegas 47, Strickland explained why he should be next for Adesanya.
“Unless Cannonier wins, (Adesanya) ran through the division. C’mon, let’s get some fresh blood in. We don’t want to see another repeat. Let one white trash motherf*cker take a crack at it, you know?” Strickland told the media at the post-fight press conference.
Strickland also has another issue that he’s dealing with, as he just fought the last fight of his UFC contract against Hermansson. The UFC will almost certainly re-sign him, but as part of the contract negotiations, Strickland may very well try to get a title shot written into his new deal.
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