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Strickland triumphs over Adesanya, claims UFC title

Sean Strickland shocks the world by defeating Israel Adesanya to win the middleweight title at UFC 293 in Sydney.

In a stunning upset, Sean Strickland emerged victorious over the heavily favored Israel Adesanya to claim the middleweight title at UFC 293 in Sydney, Australia. Strickland, who was given the title opportunity due to an injury to top contender Dricus du Plessis, expressed disbelief at his win, stating that he never imagined he would be in this position. Adesanya, originally scheduled to face Du Plessis, had already defeated other top contenders in Jared Cannonier and Marvin Vettori. However, with Du Plessis out of the picture, the opportunity was handed to Strickland, who is ranked fifth in the middleweight division.

The fight started off uneventfully, but Strickland made a statement by dropping Adesanya with a clean right hand. Although Adesanya managed to recover and make it to the end of the round, Strickland had set the tone for the rest of the fight. Adesanya began to land more strikes in the second round, particularly leg kicks, but Strickland remained the aggressor throughout the bout. Despite Adesanya's reputation as a slick counter-striker, Strickland was able to avoid the majority of his retaliations. As the fight progressed, Strickland's corner sensed that victory was within reach and urged him to push harder, emphasizing that they did not come all this way to lose a decision.

Strickland continued to press forward, effectively utilizing his jab and keeping Adesanya on the defensive. Adesanya was unable to inflict significant damage in response. When the fight concluded, Strickland confidently raised his arms in celebration, while Adesanya appeared dejected as he walked back to his corner. The judges ultimately declared Strickland the winner, and Adesanya embraced him in a display of sportsmanship before raising his hand in victory.

This victory marked Strickland's first UFC title in his debut championship bout, adding to his impressive record of 28 wins out of 33 fights. Reflecting on his win, Strickland acknowledged Adesanya's previous accomplishments and admitted to doubting himself at times. However, he credited the Australian fans for motivating him and expressed gratitude for the support he received. Strickland emphasized that the gold around his waist was not what truly mattered, but rather how one lives their life. He stated that he was living better through his fans and thanked them for their support.

In the co-main event, Alexander Volkov of Russia submitted Australia's Tai Tuivasa in the second round. Tuivasa, aiming to end a two-fight losing streak, employed a leg-kicking strategy against Volkov. However, Volkov utilized his superior reach to out-strike Tuivasa and avoid any significant danger.

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