Sean Strickland gets shock win over Israel Adesanya to become new UFC middleweight champion
Sean Strickland has shocked the UFC world by defeating Israel Adesanya for the middleweight championship in one of the biggest upsets in MMA history.
Strickland walked out with little to no emotion on his face, a complete 180 from his antics and demeanour in the build-up to the fight.
The champion walked out with a look of calmness as he made a main event entrance that he had made so many times before.
The lead into the main event had been an interesting one, with the American as controversial as ever but yet gaining some form of support from the Australians against Adesanya.
However, the Last Stylebender went into the fight as very much the favourite defending against the fifth-ranked middleweight.
Bruce Buffer got his introductions out of the way and it was on between the two.
The first round started off extremely cautious from both fighters and felt very much like a feeling-out round with very few strikes thrown.
That was until there were about 30 seconds left when Strickland threw a vicious right hand that caught Adesanya flush.
The challenger pounced on the champion and it looked as though Izzy was heading toward a shocking defeat.
The Nigerian held on as round one came to a close; a wild end to the first round.
Adesanya found his way back into the fight early in the second round, brushing off a close call to losing his title.
Round three began much like the second with both fighters failing to land anything big.
However, as they headed into the final couple of minutes the American managed to once again catch Adesanya.
The New Zealand-trained fighter showed off his defensive ability throughout as he managed to dodge many of Strickland’s strikes.
As they headed into the championship rounds it looked as though Strickland may just be ahead if the fight was to head to the judges’ decision.
The challenger kept the momentum going in the fourth round with Adesanya looking in trouble, a position that spectatros haven’t been used to seeing him in.
Going into the fifth round, Strickland looked to be in the lead with Adesanya needing to pull something out of the bag to retain his title.
The American remained on the offensive throughout the final round as Adesanya wasn’t able to take home the win.
The judges made their decision and the result was all but decided.
Sean Strickland was announced as the UFC middleweight champion, shocking the entire MMA world.
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