UFC middldeweight champion, Israel Adesanya has claimed that Sean Strickland should have listened to advice he gave to him prior to his UFC 276 first round knockout loss against division contender, Alex Pereira at the beginning of this month.
Undisputed middleweight champion, Adesanya headlined this month’s UFC 276 card against the #2 ranked contender, Jared Cannonier – defeating the Texan over the course of five rounds in a one-sided, forgettable unanimous decision victory.
However, earlier on the main card, Strickland, who entered the event as the #4 ranked contender, suffered a one-sided first round knockout loss to Brazilian kickboxing phenom, Pereira – who is now widely expected to challenge past-opponent, Adesanya later this year in a title outing.
Israel Adesanya hints that Sean Strickland likely overlooked opponent, Alex Pereira
Reflecting on the event, including his own performance, Adesanya insists Strickland should likely have taken advice from him at their pre-fight press conference, and focus his attention on Pereira – rather than a title fight with himself.
“He (Sean Strickland) should’ve listened to me,” Israel Adesanya said on his YouTube channel. “He should’ve listened to me when I told him, ‘Just focus on the guy you have in front of you, not me.’ He was trying to be like that idiot in the back of the class. I hated having to address that idiot. Like, I’m trying to f*cking work and the guy I’m focused on is next to me or down the line and this idiot, this dumbass in the back of the class just disrupting.”
“I was like, ‘Yo, it’s not me you need to worry about. Focus on this guy (Alex Pereira),’” Israel Adesanya explained. “He thought he had the opportunity, and I’m like, ‘OK, bet,’ If he actually did what he had to do, me and him would be fighting next.”
Adesanya further claimed that Strickland fought with his ego with his decision to stand in front of the former two-weight GLORY Kickboxing champion.
“Don’t fight with your ego, he fought with his ego,” Israel Adesanya said. “He said, ‘I thought I was doing pretty well.’ You’re not doing pretty well. … I’ve seen this before, I’ve done this before. You can see it coming. … I was like, ‘change up,’ but Pereira didn’t need a change-up. He just threw a left hook, really, really simple. Boom dropped him, right hand, finished him.” (Transcribed by MMA Junkie)