Sean Strickland Gets Exposed in Israel Adesanya’s Rant as UFC Champ Reveals First Ever Interaction With Rival Ahead of UFC 293

Published 09/05/2023, 6:04 AM EDT

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The fans would have loved nothing more than to see UFC Middleweight champ Israel Adesanya go head-to-head with Dricus Du Plessis. The fighters had been beefing for a really long time, and it boiled down to a point where the two couldn’t wait to go at each other. But since Du Plessis suffered an injury from his fight against Robert Whittaker, he has to wait before he can settle the ‘Real African’ debate with the Stylebender. Amidst all this, Middleweight fighter Sean Strickland got his bumper ticket to fight Adesanya for the title.

Sean Strickland is known for making questionable statements in and outside the ring. He is easily one of the most controversial fighters in the UFC right now. However, it seems Israel Adesanya has a story to tell about ‘Tarzan’ that might change the way that people see him, and he recently opened up to UFC commentator Daniel Cormier about that.

Sean Strickland exposed? Israel Adesanya recalls first impression of the ‘Tarzan’


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Israel Adesanya was recently interviewed by the legendary former UFC fighter and current UFC commentator Daniel Cormier for ESPN MMA’s YouTube channel. During that interview, Cormier asked Adesanya about his thoughts on Strickland’s reputation that precedes him and if he is ready for the war of words to get dirty.

I’m… I’m ready to fight. That’s what it is. And the thing is DC, you only have one… one chance to make a first impression right? And I put the receipts out there.“, replied the Stylebender. 


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Then, he proceeded to tell the story of his first encounter with Strickland. “Backstage, before that press conference, I smacked him on the a*s. Not even trying to – not even trying to be a d**k. I was just like oh there’s Sean. And he looks back and he goes ha ha ha. Hey man, don’t do me like you did that boy Costa. Ha ha ha. And we joked about it. Yeah! That’s literally what he said. And when he got on stage, he’s like man I’ll come down there right now and I was like…“, explained Adesanya before he dissed ‘Tarzan’.

He’s talking like you’re gonna do something – you get my number right now and then we went backstage… silence! He just walked away.“, pointed out Adesanya, reminding people of his ‘tough guy’ demeanor which Adesanya claims is a facade. 

“Very Hard Fight for…”- After Knocking Out Israel Adesanya and Sean Strickland, Alex Pereira Predicts Grim Fate for Former UFC Opponent at UFC 293

I was just like… performing. He’s acting. So then I realized that’s his first impression.”, he concluded, not impressed with his upcoming opponent. 

Training more, talking less – Sean Strickland’s game plan for Israel Adesanya

Sean Strickland is a really smart guy – a really smart fighter. He knows how to rattle his opponent or egg them on to thinking that they are better than him, only to have their weaknesses exposed to him.

Recently, Sean Strickland was seen wrestling with an MMA Bellator Light Heavyweight fighter. He has been working on his ground game so as to be able to beat Adesanya on the mat. In another shocking revelation, Strickland was recently seen training with Dominick Cruz, a former opponent of UFC HW champ Jon Jones and a renowned Light Heavyweight UFC fighter. Training with Cruz will help him take the fight to Adesanya and counter his fight strategies.


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However, Strickland has also said that he probably won’t be taking the fight to the mat, although he knows he should be doing that. He said he is tempted to ‘stand and bang’ with the Stylebender.

Adesanya is a striking phenom. If Strickland is adopting this strategy knowing that fully well, he either has a strategy or is making a grave mistake.


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What are your thoughts about the fight? Who do you think is going to emerge victorious?

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Written by:

Arghyadeep Ghosh


One take at a time

Arghyadeep is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. His love for combat sports dates back to the WWF. Being a 90’s kid, he grew up fascinated by showmanship, competitive fighting, and wrestling.
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Edited by:

Rupkamal Sarma