UFC 276 played host to somewhat of an unofficial middleweight tournament as the title was defended while two contenders battled over a potential crack at the main event victor. Adesanya’s unanimous decision win over Jared Cannonier saw him successfully earn a fifth championship defense in what was unfortunately considered by many as a lackluster performance.
The contender bout one fight earlier, however, saw the surging Strickland attempt to hold his No. 4 spot in the official UFC rankings by fending off the Brazilian kickboxing world champion, Pereira. Despite the fast-tracking of Pereira up the 185-pound ladder seeming rather obvious, “Poatan” proved it justified with a pinpoint left hook knockout of his outspoken adversary in just a single round.
Pereira now finds himself bound to meet Adesanya for the third time — their first meeting in MMA. In kickboxing, Pereira holds two wins over Adesanya with the first being a unanimous decision and the latter a vicious third-round knockout. Having felt Pereira’s power himself and watched Adesanya during his rise, Strickland feels we’ll be hearing “and still” come the eventual showdown.
“Let me tell you something, just cause you can fight doesn’t mean you’re not a b****,” Strickland told The Schmo. “Don’t forget that. Ask that to ‘Izzy.’ Just cause you can fight, don’t mean you’re not a b****. And I think ‘Izzy’s’ gonna beat Alex. I think ‘Izzy’s’ gonna stand there and ‘Izzy’s’ gonna bounce around and outpoint Alex for five rounds and we’re all gonna say ‘Izzy’s’ the best in the world. Doesn’t change the fact that he’s a b****.
“He’s gonna float around and win but at the end of the day, no one remembers how you win, they just remember that you win. So even though he’s gonna f****** dance around on his little twinkle toes, he’s still gonna win. I hope he doesn’t, but I still think he’s gonna win. F****** ‘Izzy.’”
The Pereira defeat was only the fourth of Strickland’s 29-fight career, his first as a middleweight in the UFC, and his second via knockout. Remaining a top talent in the division, the North Carolina native hopes to get three more fights this year if possible.
As for a future Pereira rematch, Strickland knows what he did wrong but would only change one minor detail that led to his demise.
“It sucked, but you know, man, nothing different,” Strickland said. “At the end of the day, I said would stand and bang with anybody. I didn’t say I was gonna win (laughs). But nah, I would do nothing f****** different besides keep this f****** [right] hand up. I said I’d stand and bang with ‘em, and I’ll f****** stand and bang with ‘em and if I ever fight him again, I’m gonna stand and bang with the big motherf***** except I’m gonna have my [right] hand right here [against my head] the whole f****** time.”
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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
I’m a big believer in hyping up the talent of an opponent and giving them credit.— Jillian DeCoursey (@lionheartjill) July 18, 2022
If I say someone sucks and then beat them, then I’m saying I beat someone who sucks and in that case, what did I even accomplish?
Give them the credit they deserve and in return you look better
I mean, it’s a good one.
most wholesome photo in ufc history? pic.twitter.com/EyLRXU73sU— diablo (@NickDiabloDiaz) July 18, 2022
I am a fighter. YOU are a fighter. pic.twitter.com/VfCqZ39Jqh— Kayla Harrison (@KaylaH) July 18, 2022
Hands of Stone.
If I had to predict how things will be mixed and matched at lightweight I’d say ... Gaethje vs. Fiziev, Dariush vs. Gamrot, Ferguson vs. McGregor, Poirier vs. Chandler. I could also see some kind of mixing between those first two, but the latter are too logical not to do.
Thanks for reading!
Last Week’s Results:
Thursday: 76% of 683 total votes answered “Not without cutting off a leg” when asked, “Could Jan Blachowicz actually make 185?” Blachowicz recently teased that he could move down in weight to rematch UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya.
Wednesday: 61% of 613 total votes answered “Brian Ortega” when asked, “Who wins this weekend?” Ortega lost via first-round TKO (doctor’s stoppage) against Yair Rodriguez in the main event of UFC Long Island.
Tuesday: 35% of 514 total votes answered “Top 3” when asked, “Where do you rank UFC 100 among the best UFC events ever?”
Today’s exit poll:
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