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Israel Adesanya Reveals What Sean Strickland Needs to Do to Challenge for the UFC Middleweight Championship

Published 02/21/2022, 12:00 PM EST

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The UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has a habit of picking his next opponent before leaving the octagon. Since becoming the champion, the Nigerian-born has called for every single opponent he has fought and beat them all. After his win at UFC 271, ‘The Last Stylebender’ set his eye on ‘The Killa Gorilla’ Jared Cannonier.

However, on the ‘Ignore The Noise’ episode with Charlamagne Tha God and Andrew Schulz, the Kiwi kickboxer has hinted at another opponent he would like to face in the future.

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Talking about future opponents ‘The Last Stylebender’ said, “Strickland, I like the fact that he talks a lot”

Andrew Schulz also pointed out that ‘Tarzan’ would be the perfect opponent in terms of building the fight. Though before that, he needs a couple of wins to get to the championship fight.

Adesanya interrupted and said, “One fight. We’ve got an idea for what we want to do with him, but yeah, I hope he does well.”

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‘The Last Stylebender’ did not disclose what plans he had for Strickland. Still, the champion hinting at a future fight is a good sign for ‘Tarzan’; He is on a 6-fight win streak and is coming off a win over ‘The Joker’ Jack Hermansson.

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As the champion has suggested, the rising middleweight contender could find himself against the champion with one impressive win. Also, he could get the chance earlier, as the fight with Jared Cannonier is not official yet.

Tarzan‘ has a very basic style; Strickland is efficient with his striking. The biggest low-key factor that helps Strickland get success inside the octagon is his sound defense. Though ‘Tarzan’ stays in the pocket, his in-and-out movement generally goes unnoticed.

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Even though Sean Strickland is a very good stand-up fighter, the Kiwi kickboxer has been beating stand-up fighters long before the UFC. Thus, on the feet, Strickland will have a tough time getting in range.

Some fans and even analysts often bring the Kelvin Gastelum fight to suggest Adesanya’s struggle on the feet. However, it took place in 2019. The champion has shown improvements between fights. So, such an old fight could not be looked at as a weakness for the champion.

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WATCH THIS STORY – Five Potential Opponents for Israel Adesanya after His win at UFC 271

What do you think of Israel Adesanya’s comment on Sean Strickland? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Written by:

Deepak Kumar

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Deepak Kumar is a UFC author at EssentiallySports. His love for MMA comes from the chaos and violence the fight game brings to the table. A BJJ aspirant, Deepak began following the sport as a casual fan when Ronda Rousey was finishing her opponents in seconds.
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