Sean Strickland



First defense scheduled
November 6, 2023
Strickland will defend the UFC Middleweight Championship against Dricus Du Plessis in Toronto at UFC 297 on Jan. 20, according to Marcel Dorff of
Strickland upset Israel Adesanya to win the UFC Middleweight Championship. Strickland was waiting for his first title challenger, which first seemed to be determined by the title eliminator between Kamaru Usman and Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 294, which the latter won. Instead, Chimaev will wait behind Du Plessis, who has been waiting for a title fight in his own right after defeating Robert Whittaker at UFC 290.
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Epic effort to win UFC gold
September 9, 2023
Strickland became the new UFC Middleweight Champion on Saturday, defeating Israel Adesanya via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) at UFC 293 in Sydney, Australia.
If you thought Strickland was going to change his style of fighting in the biggest bout of his career, you don't know the man. He stuck with what got him here, and the end result was UFC gold and one of the biggest upsets in company history. Simply put, Sean beat Adesanya up from bell-to-bell. In Round 1 he became the first man to knock Izzy down, nearly earning the stoppage. Adesanya regained momentum in Round 2, but Strickland stayed composed and dominated the vast majority of the final 15 minutes. He constantly pushed forward, remained in Izzy's face and fired off counter shots. When Adesanya was slow to pull the trigger, Sean recognized that and went first. There's zero doubt which man landed the more damaging shots for the duration of the bout. Remember, the UFC wanted Dricus Du Plessis in this spot, but he wasn't ready to go. Strickland stepped up and made history as a +500 underdog. He also took home a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus for his efforts here. The odds may be against the 32-year-old California native holding the belt for any significant length of time in a stacked middleweight division, but that's irrelevant right now. Kudos on a brilliant performance.
Getting title shot in Sydney
August 8, 2023
Strickland will face off against Israel Adesanya in the UFC Middleweight Championship in Sydney at UFC 293 on Sept. 9, MMA reporter Ariel Helwani reports.
Strickland was next in line to get a shot at the belt with Dricus Du Plessis not able to make the nine-week turnaround from UFC 290 due to a sore foot. Strickland fought on July 1 in which he defeated Abusupiyan Magomedov by TKO. Adesanya regained the Middleweight title back in April when he knocked out Alex Pereira.
Fights through slow start for win
July 1, 2023
Strickland defeated Abusupiyan Magomedov via TKO (punches) at 4:20 of Round 2 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Strickland has been doing this a long time. He's been in there against some of the best in the world, many for five rounds. So while the eye poke he absorbed immediately and his subsequent poor opening frame were concerning, it should come as no surprise he found a way to emerge victorious. Of course, the catalyst behind all that was one of the most impressive gas jobs we have seen in recent memory from Magomedov. Strickland can fight for ten rounds, working behind his jab, so once Magomedov slowed to a crawl in Round 2, Strickland took full advantage. What appeared shaky in the early going, turned into a rout less than five minutes later. Sean has struggled in his opportunities against the elite at 185 pounds, but he's handled most everyone else. He continues to be a highly undervalued member of the UFC roster.
Facing Magomedov July 1
April 20, 2023
Strickland will fight Abusupiyan Magomedov as the main event in Las Vegas on July 1, Nolan King of USA Today reports.
Strickland will re-enter the Octagon for the first time since January and will be facing an unranked opponent in Nagomedov. The 32-year-old put an end to a two-fight skid by defeating Nassourdine Imavov via unanimous decision his last time out. Nagomedov will be entering just the second fight of his UFC career, but clearly impressed in his debut after getting a knock out 19 seconds into the bout. Strickland has fought some of the best in the division over his years and should be expected to be a sizeable favorite.
Late-notice main event victory
January 14, 2023
Strickland defeated Nassourdine Imavov via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas.
In for an injured Kelvin Gastelum on just a handful of days' notice, Strickland put forth one of his trademark performances. It was an especially impressive effort considering he headlined the UFC's most recent event before the holiday break, dropping a razor-thin split decision to Jared Cannonier. This decision was not in doubt. Strickland continuously pushed forward for the duration of the bout, working behind his jab and generally keeping an over-matched Imavov off-balance. He clinched when he felt his opponent was gaining momentum and landed his lone takedown attempt for good measure. In short, this is the exact type of style Strickland has to fight in order to be successful. There's no doubt Sean's back-to-back defeats to Cannonier and now UFC Middleweight Champion Alex Pereira hurt his stock, but this strong effort should help him rebound as 2023 begins.