In an unexpected turn of events, the underdog Sean Strickland achieved a remarkable upset by defeating Israel Adesanya and securing the UFC middleweight title at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena on Sunday. Strickland’s victory came through a unanimous decision by the judges’ scorecards following an intense five-round battle,Daily Trust reports.

During the closing moments of the final frame, American Strickland taunted Adesanya, displaying his confidence in victory after relentlessly pursuing his opponent. Strickland showcased excellent defensive skills and employed his boxing technique to force Adesanya into a defensive stance.

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Adesanya, who had held the middleweight championship for most of the past four years, struggled to find a way to overcome Strickland’s tactics. The 34-year-old Nigerian was repeatedly hit with stiff jabs from Strickland, which slowed down his offensive efforts.

In a post-fight interview within the cage, Strickland expressed his disbelief at his achievement, stating, “Oh my God, literally never in a million years did I think I’d be here.” UFC president Dana White presented Strickland with the championship belt.

Despite the initially hostile reception Strickland received on his way to the octagon and the crowd’s support for Adesanya, who hails from neighboring New Zealand, the audience applauded the new champion for his determined performance.

Strickland’s path to victory was set in motion with a powerful right-hand punch at the end of the first round, nearly securing a knockout. Adesanya managed to survive until the round break but struggled to regain his momentum afterward.

Adesanya has won four of his last five fights, while Strickland has secured victory in three of his last five bouts.


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