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.
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.
“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.”
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.