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Morning Report: Sean Strickland surprised Alex Pereira beat Israel Adesanya: ‘Izzy, you should have wrestled’

UFC 276 Press Conference Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Sean Strickland has some belated advice for Israel Adesanya.

UFC 281 this past weekend marked the crowning moment of Alex Pereira’s incredibly young 8-fight MMA career. Competing for the UFC middleweight crown in only his fourth bout inside the octagon, Pereira remained Adesanya’s nightmare, disposing of the now-former champion via fifth-round TKO in comeback fashion.

To earn his title shot, the Brazilian scored a first-round knockout against top contender Strickland at UFC 276 this past July. A win for either man expected to see them square off with that evening’s main event winner, which was Adesanya who defeated Jared Cannonier by unanimous decision.

Despite his disdain for Adesanya and experience against Pereira, Strickland didn’t expect the matchup to end the way it did.

“He’s a f****** badass big motherf****** Brazilian and he touches you and you go to sleep, it’s the weirdest f****** thing,” Strickland jokingly told The Schmo. “But I was not expecting that. I was a little surprised. I thought ‘Izzy’ was gonna be a twinkle toes and f***** dance around and outpoint him, but f***** hats off to you, Alex. You f***** bigass f***** scary Brazilian. You f***** go out and f***** do it (claps hands).”

The biggest critique Strickland received following his lone middleweight defeat in July was that he should have attempted to wrestle with the superior kickboxer. A similar question from the community surrounded Adesanya because of his significant MMA experience advantage against Pereira, and he did end up utilizing a bit of his hidden skillset in the fight.

Thanks to his approach and talent, Adesanya found himself comfortably up on the judges’ scorecards going into round five, but ultimately succumbed to the overwhelming presence of “Poatan.” The finishing sequence saw “The Last Stylebender” taken out with tight punches up against the octagon wall, but never went down, providing a bit of controversy regarding whether or not it was an early stoppage.

“I mean technically when I got stopped I was still coherent, I wasn’t dead,” Strickland said of his Pereira loss. “I was awake, I was aware (laughs). But nah, it was a good stoppage [against Adesanya], man. I mean, that f***** guy has dynamite. If it wasn’t that, he would have f***** countered. The f***** guy, bro. Dynamite in his hands. I tried to tell you guys. I should have wrestled.

“‘Izzy,’ you should have f***** wrestled. What happened, man? Why didn’t you f***** wrestle? Now you’re getting the same speech I got from everybody. ‘Hey, Sean. Why didn’t you wrestle?’ Because he’s a big f***** Brazilian. I wanted to f***** fight him. That’s why.”

Still seeking his rebound victory, Strickland is currently gearing up to battle the aforementioned Cannonier to close out UFC’s 2022 calendar on Dec. 17 at UFC Vegas 66. Meanwhile, there’s no confirmation of an immediate rematch coming Adesanya’s way, but he wants it and the promotion could very well head in that direction with no real clarity amongst the top contenders at present.

“I mean, here’s the thing, it’s not right,” Strickland said. “They shouldn’t have an immediate rematch. You should give the next guy in line a shot, but f***** UFC does what UFC does. I mean, it’s all about money, bro. They look at that as ‘Izzy’ is the most marketable to fight, but yeah, that’s not right. He shouldn’t get the rematch.”


TOP STORIES

Plan. Israel Adesanya details UFC 281 stoppage: ‘I was waiting for him to gas out so I can do my work’

Aftermath. Alex Pereira’s comeback win opens up world of opportunity for middleweight division

R.I.P. ‘The MMA community lost a legend’: Pros react to Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson’s death

Rankings. Alex Pereira stunner sends Israel Adesanya tumbling down the charts

Suspensions. 19 need doctor clearance, Frankie Edgar among longest terms

Hiatus. Brad Riddell announces break from fighting ‘until the fire to compete comes back’

Cancelation. Vitor Belfort out of boxing match with Hasim Rahman Jr. on Nov. 19


VIDEO STEW

The MMA Hour.

UFC Vegas 65 promo.

Free fight.

War Room: Vegas 65.

Breaking down Pereira’s win.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Classic.

Setback.

Hyped.

He’s everywhere.

Hey, man...

Halloween is over, Mike.

Family on the mats.

Oh.

Response.

Dream big, king.

Ice cream party.

Workin’.

Zzz...

Peak commentary.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Jimmy Crute (12-3) vs. Alonzo Menifield (13-3); UFC 284, Feb. 11

Kleydson Rodrigues (7-2) vs. Shannon Ross (13-6); UFC 284, Feb. 11


FINAL THOUGHTS

I think the story would be that much better if it was drug out over one or two more fights for each Pereira and Adesanya before their rematch. But it’s a massive gamble to expect Pereira defends twice, let alone once, assuming Robert Whittaker gets past Paulo Costa in February.

Thanks for reading!


POLL POSITION

Last Week’s Results:

Friday + Thursday: 86% of 608 total votes answered “Zhang Weili” when asked, “Who wins tomorrow?” Zhang defeated Carla Esparza via a second-round modified rear-naked choke in UFC 281’s co-main event.

Wednesday: 67% of 642 total votes answered “Dustin Poirier” when asked, “Who wins this weekend?” Poirier defeated Michael Chandler via third-round rear-naked choke submission at UFC 281.

Tuesday: 52% of 581 total votes answered “Less” when asked, “Are you more or less excited for Prochazka vs. Teixeira 2 than you were for the first fight?

Monday: 57% of 377 total votes answered “Yes” when asked, “Does Sean O’Malley fight Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera for an interim title next?

Today’s exit poll:

Poll

Should Israel Adesanya get an instant rematch with Alex Pereira?

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    Yes
    (547 votes)
  • 38%
    No
    (338 votes)
885 votes total Vote Now

If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @DrakeRiggs_ on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.

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