Despite falling at the title-eliminator hurdle in anticipation of a middleweight title fight with current champion, Israel Adesanya last summer, Sean Strickland claims that a fight with the Nigerian-Kiwi most definitely needs to happen if he defeats Abusupiyan Magomedov in their upcoming UFC Vegas 76 headliner in July.

Strickland, the current #7 ranked middleweight contender, had enjoyed a stunning seven-fight winning run through division contenders up until last summer, dropping a thunderous first round KO loss to future middleweight champion, Alex Pereira in their championship-eliminator during International Fight Week. 

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In the time since, Strickland has suffered a close, debated decision loss to Jared Cannonier in a short-notice main event headliner toward the end of last year, before taking a dominant decision win of his own over Nassourdine Imavov in another impromptu headliner, this time at the light heavyweight limit. 

Sean Strickland lays out path to a title showdown with Israel Adesanya

Facing off with Magomedov in a rather surprising main event clash to kick-off the UFC’s schedule for July, Strickland claimed that with a win over the Russian – he should be fighting Adesanya next.

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“If this fight [with Abusupiyan Magomedov] goes my way, it 100 percent should be on the cards,” Sean Strickland said of a title fight with Israel Adesanya during an interview with MyMMANews. “I f*cking had a close decision with f*cking, what the f*ck was that guy’s name? Jared Cannoiner, you knocked some brain cells out of me. Solid guy. Thought I won on the scorecards but it is what it is.”

“I truly believe I should be the one fighting ‘Izzy’ (Israel Adesanya), but I lost [to Alex Pereira] fair and square,” Sean Strickland explained. “I’ll pay my tenants. I’ll get some W’s but yeah, that one needs to happen.” 

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Expected to make his Octagon return at UFC 293 in September in Sydney, Australia – Adesanya has welcomed a showdown ‘Down Under’, however, has yet to be booked for the pay-per-view event at the time of publication.