UFC 293: Sean Strickland shocks Israel Adesanya to take middleweight title | MMA News

American Sean Strickland celebrates defeating Nigerian-born New Zealander Israel Adesanya to claim the middleweight title by unanimous decision in the main event of UFC 293 in Sydney, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP Image via AP)

Sean Strickland became the new middleweight champion on Saturday night by beating Israel Adesanya by unanimous decision in the main event of UFC 293 in Sydney.

In a huge shock from the man ranked fifth in the middleweight division, the cards read 49-46, 49-46, 49-46 in favour of Strickland (28-5-0), who has won three consecutive UFC bouts and nine of his last 11. Adesanya (24-3-0) has lost two of his last three fights.

Strickland landed 137 strikes compared to Adesanya’s 94 to take the belt.

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After his middleweight title loss to Sean Strickland at UFC 293, Israel Adesanya had a slightly unconventional approach to his post-fight press conference as he departed without being asked a question. Credit: UFC

“Am I dreaming? Am I going to wake up? Somebody hit me,” Strickland said in the Octagon after the biggest fight of his career.

“Oh my God guys. Literally, never in a million years did I thought I would be here

In other action, Alexander Volkov (37-10-0) used an Ezekiel choke to best Tai Tuivasa (15-6-0) in a heavyweight match. In a flyweight battle, Manel Kape (19-6-0) used 77 strikes to the head to topple Felipe dos Santos (7-1-0) by unanimous decision, with the cards reading 30-27, 29-28, 29-28.

Justin Tafa (7-3-0) won his heavyweight bout, and Tyson Pedro (10-4-0) prevailed in a light heavyweight skirmish.

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