After losing the UFC middleweight championship to Sean Strickland, Israel Adesanya displayed his swollen eye and cracked lip.
The highly anticipated title match at UFC 293 was expected to be a walk in the park for Adesanya against Strickland. However, fate had a different plan.
The unanimous decision by all three judges in favor of Strickland was a bitter pill for Adesanya to swallow. Strickland himself was taken aback by how relatively easy the match turned out to be for him.
Despite the setback, UFC president Dana White is eager to set up a rematch between the two. However, Adesanya must first give himself some time to heal.
In a video shared on Twitter post-defeat, Adesanya reassured his fans by stating: “Not that bad, a little touched up. Still thriving, I hate losing but I love living. Hanging out with the family first and then I’ll address the people, but for right now I’ve gotta put me first.”
Adesanya opted not to give an interview after the match in the cage. Instead, he made a brief appearance at the press conference and addressed the media for a mere 60 seconds before passing the microphone to his coach.
He told, “I had a different plan for this, but life throws curveballs at you. Win or lose I wasn’t going to say much anyway, but I lost to the better man on the night. I want to go with people who care about me and they’re waiting for me, so I’ll leave you with that.”
On the other hand, Strickland welcomes the prospect of a rematch against Adesanya or defending his title for the first time against top contender Dricus Du Plessis.
Despite his extensive training in wrestling during the camp, Strickland’s approach to the bout took an unexpected turn. Contrary to the plan, he did not attempt a single takedown.
Strickland stated: “The gameplan was to wrestle, that’s all we did all camp but when you’re a little autistic you kinda just do what you do. I think I’m one of the best strikers in the world. Any time you’re doing the man dance you’re always one punch away from being knocked out, but I can spar with any world champion boxer and get the better of them.”
“I am a great wrestler and I probably could have taken him down because he was dog tired, but at the end of the day I like to strike. Going out on your shield is better that way. This belt truly means nothing to me, I love it and I won it but at the end of the day the sport is what I love.”
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