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True African Fight Interrupted as Dricus Du Plessis Can’t Believe Sean Strickland Dropped Israel Adesanya at UFC 293 in One of the Biggest Upsets in MMA History

Published 09/10/2023, 1:55 AM EDT

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UFC 293 saw a shocking upset at the main event. Israel Adesanya headed into the first title defense of his second reign as middleweight champion as the favorite to win against Sean Strickland. However, it turned out to be ‘Tarzan’s day as he emerged victorious to capture the title in his first-ever champion fight. It also left Dricus du Plessis in disbelief.

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Israel Adesanya, who’s revered in the world of MMA for his impressive striking skills, did not have any answer for Sean Strickland. The American outstruck ‘The Last Stylebender’ throughout the five rounds to take the title. Moreover, his win drew a response from Dricus du Plessis. Let’s see what he had to say.

Dricus du Plessis could not believe that Sean Strickland beat Israel Adesanya


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Sean Strickland was not the preferred contender for the middleweight championship at UFC 293. It was the South African star Dricus du Plessis. ‘Stillknocks’ was engaged in an intense rivalry with Israel Adesanya, stemming from their ‘real African’ debate. There was so much heat between the two fighters that a fight between them seemed inevitable. However, du Plessis suffered an injury, which spoiled the chances of fans witnessing him fight ‘The Last Stylebender’.

When a door closes for one fighter, it opens for another fighter, and that’s when Sean Strickland stepped up. Riding on a two-fight winning streak before his UFC 293, the UFC seemed hesitant to give him the shot at first. However, Israel Adesanya later convinced the executives and the fight was on. Moreover, nobody expected him to win the fight, but he shocked the world with an upset win over the former two-time UFC champion. The win even surprised Dricus du Plessis, who went on to share a tweet. He wrote, “Wow! Did not see that coming.” It seems like we may not get to witness the ‘real African’ fighter for a while now. However, let us take a look at what happened during the fight.


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An upset loss for Adesanya

Comparable to Matt Serra‘s unexpected victory over Georges St-Pierre, Holly Holm‘s remarkable defeat of Ronda Rousey, and Julianna Pena‘s submission of Amanda Nunes, Strickland’s triumph over Adesanya will undoubtedly be a topic of discussion for years to come. ‘Tarzan’ defeated Israel Adesanya at his own game.


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‘The Last Stylebender’ proved to be no match for Strickland, who entered the fight with just two consecutive wins. Adesanya was unable to defend his title against the underdog who’s known for being a controversial character. Consequently, Strickland emerged as the new UFC champion, ending Adesanya’s reign even faster than his previous one.

Fans are now wondering what lies ahead for Sean Strickland after the biggest win of his career. He could either face Jared Cannonier next, who took up the role of a backup fighter for the UFC 293 headliner. Also, there is Dricus du Plessis, whose title shot is in a precarious position. We will have to wait and see what unfolds in the days to come.


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What did you make of Strickland’s performance at UFC 293? Drop your comments below.

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Written by:

Himanga Mahanta


One take at a time

Himanga Mahanta is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. He has a passion for combat sports and a deep understanding of the intricacies of MMA. With his expertise and extensive knowledge, Himanga provides in-depth coverage of UFC events and fighters, bringing his readers closer to the action and the athletes they admire.
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Edited by:

Kratika Vajpayee