After Israel Adesanya Confirms He’s Coming for a Submission, Coach Reveals Major Changes in Sean Strickland’s Gameplan for UFC 293

Published 09/03/2023, 3:30 AM EDT

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The highly anticipated fight between Sean Strickland and Israel Adesanya is almost here. They will square off on September 9, 2023, at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. The fighters have already been exchanging barbs in the lead-up to the fight, and it is expected to be a thrilling clash of strikers. Both ‘Tarzan’ and ‘The Last Stylebender’ are comfortable standing and trading punches and kicks, so fans are in for a treat. Israel Adesanya is the current and two-time UFC middleweight champion. He ascended to the top of the division after defeating his longtime nemesis, Alex Pereira.

On the other hand, this will be ‘Tarzan’s first UFC title shot, but he has put on some impressive performances in the promotion. As a result, the outcome of the fight is difficult to predict. To the surprise of the MMA community, Strickland’s coach, Eric Nicksick, has revealed his new game plan after Adesanya claimed that he would defeat Strickland via submission. Will this new game plan take Strickland to the position of UFC middleweight kingpin? Let’s find out.

Sean Strickland has a new game plan


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Erick Nicksick was speaking in an interview with ESPN MMA. During the chat, he detailed how Strickland was hesitant about changing his fighting style. Even after receiving proper instruction from his team, Strickland often adopted his own way of fighting in the octagon. Nicksick revealed that they planned complete wrestling for Strickland’s fight against Alex Pereira. However, he used zero wrestling in the bout and ended up losing it in the very first round. The coach further revealed that he was disappointed with Strickland’s performance against Jared Cannonier, as he had no “optics and aesthetics.”


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Now before fighting against Israel Adesanya, Strickland is trying hard to come up with a great game plan that would destroy the middleweight kingpin. Nicksick said, “You know you got to put some glitter and sequence on it and make it go and make it nice and shiny for these judges, right?” He added, “Those are the things that Sean wasn’t doing like and then after the words on Sunday he called me right away, he said ‘Hey man I understood exactly now what you meant about optics and aesthetics and I wasn’t doing that you know. So I think over time to answer your question Phil, I think he’s starting to trust us as a coaching staff.It seems that Strickland’s focus is to put on an exciting fight that would impress the judges and fans.


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The verbal war between Israel Adesanya and ‘Tarzan’

‘Tarzan’ and the UFC middleweight champion are known for their verbal sparring. Before competing against each other in the octagon, they would try to unsettle their opponents mentally. Now that these two top fighters are set to lock horns, they are taking every opportunity to needle each other. A few weeks ago, ‘Stylebender’ responded angrily to his upcoming opponent’s jibe that he was the first Chinese UFC champion. Before entering the world of MMA, the Nigerian fighter was a kickboxer in China.

READ MORE: After Keeping Silent on Israel Adesanya’s Relentless Trolling of Sister & Son, Alex Pereira Claps Back at UFC Rival in Brutal Fashion


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Adesanya faced many challenges while he was a fighter in China, but he eventually became successful there. However, ‘Tarzan’ used this to taunt the current UFC middleweight champion. ‘Stylebender’ responded that it was wrong for Strickland to call him the first Chinese champion, as that position belongs to Zhang Weili. What are your thoughts about the bout between Adesanya and Strickland? Do you think that Strickland stands a chance against Adesanya? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Watch this Story: “He Was Rotten Inside” – Helpless Alcoholic Alex Pereira’s Struggle Before UFC Fame Laid Bare by Coach


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Priyanka is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. Her passion for the UFC is evident in her writing, and she has been a devoted fan of the sport for many years. Priyanka is particularly fascinated by the sportsmanship displayed by fighters, and she is captivated by their ability to calculate each move when an opponent is all set to attack.
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Edited by:

Kratika Vajpayee