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Morning Report: Michael Bisping says Dricus Du Plessis ‘would have beaten that version’ of Israel Adesanya at UFC 293

UFC 290: Whittaker v Du Plessis Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

UFC 293 simply wasn’t Israel Adesanya’s night.

“The Last Stylebender” returned to Australia this past weekend with hopes of adding another highlight reel victory to his exceptional resume. Unfortunately for him, Sean Strickland had other plans.

America’s “Tarzan” entered the octagon on a two-fight winning streak ahead of the biggest moment in his 33-fight career (28-5) and performed to the highest of his capabilities. For 25 minutes, Strickland, 32, applied his patented pressure while defending just about every big shot the now-former two-time champion had to offer, resulting in a unanimous decision win. The spot was originally one expected to be reserved for South Africa’s Dricus Du Plessis, who secured No. 1 contender status with a huge round two TKO stoppage of Robert Whittaker at UFC 290 in July. However, a lingering foot injury prevented him from making the turnaround. “Stillknocks” spoke out on Twitter after the event and unsurprisingly wants to be first for the new title holder and former divisional champion turned UFC Hall of Famer Michael Bisping believes it’s the matchup to make.

“What is next? Now granted, Jared Cannonier was there as the backup fighter,” Bisping said on his YouTube channel. “He does have a win over Sean Strickland but the No. 1 contender right now is Dricus Du Plessis and I gotta be honest, if Dricus Du Plessis was there that night, if he took that fight against ‘Izzy,’ he would have beaten that version of ‘Izzy’ as well. Not taking away from Sean, not kicking ‘Izzy’ while he’s down. I’m just saying that wasn’t a good showing from ‘Izzy.’ Call it what you will. Call it getting a little bit old, maybe starting to go on the decline, call it the work schedule was too much. Too many fights, too many training camps, too much pressure.

“You could slice it a million ways but it doesn’t matter. Sean’s the man. Sean’s the champ. Sean’s in charge and Sean ain’t no b****. He’ll take on all comers.”

Strickland should have no trouble finding challengers to keep him as busy and active as he likes, having fought five times since July 2022. That rate of activity should presumably maintain itself after Adesanya, who also had a frequent fighting percentage.

After the loss, Adesanya’s insistence on fighting so often has been argued as a possible reason that contributed to his downfall. Bisping — a rather active fighter during his day — didn’t go as far to pile on in that regard but does feel the 34-year-old legend in the making didn’t quite show up on fight night.

“It was a disappointing event, it really was,” Bisping said. “For Israel Adesanya, and I’ll choose my words carefully, but he never really showed up. The man’s a superstar and he might be the victim of the Drake curse once again as we know.

“‘Izzy’ never showed up, okay? He was too sure of his ability to counterstrike. He was too sure that his speed and the power that he possesses that he would be able to back up and boom, catch Strickland as he’s coming in. Well, that wasn’t the case and when that isn’t working, you need to go to plan B or even plan C sometimes. Sean Strickland walked him down and was the better man start to finish.”


Bizarro. Monday Mailbag: Welcome to the Upside Down, Sean Strickland is UFC middleweight champion

Middleweight. Chael Sonnen favors Sean Strickland vs. Israel Adesanya 2: ‘Dricus du Plessis is not the No. 1 contender

Assessment. Ian Machado Garry feels Israel Adesanya ‘lost the fight more than Sean Strickland won the fight’ at UFC 293

Shakeup. MMA Pound-for-Pound Rankings: Sean Strickland’s UFC 293 stunner breaks the system

Hopeful. Dricus Du Plessis rips ‘amateur’ Israel Adesanya’s performance at UFC 293, wants Sean Strickland title fight next

Featherweight. Alexander Volkanovski wants Ilia Topuria title defense in 2024, then Islam Makhachev rematch at UFC 300

Troubling. UFC Vegas 80: Khusein Askhabov scratched after reported arrest for alleged kidnap, torture, extortion

Crossover. Dan Hardy reveals what he hopes Francis Ngannou learns from Mike Tyson for Tyson Fury fight


The MMA Hour.

Grasso’s champ camp.

Free fight.

Free fight.

Deep vs. Black Combat preview.

Powerhouse Playback: An Evinger domination.





The Seans.

Too soon?


Murata Mondays.

Nothing less should have been expected.




In memory.

Grappling day.

The Mightiest.


Terrance McKinney (14-5) vs. Chris Duncan (11-1); UFC Vegas 81, Oct. 14


Oh, how endless the possibilities are at middleweight now. I still hope we can see Adesanya vs. Du Plessis at some point. Still just crazy to me how we missed that when everything (nearly) aligned so perfectly.

Thanks for reading!



Who is the current best middleweight on the planet?

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    Sean Strickland
    (264 votes)
  • 24%
    Israel Adesanya
    (142 votes)
  • 11%
    Dricus Du Plessis
    (64 votes)
  • 10%
    Johnny Eblen
    (60 votes)
  • 6%
    Other (Comment below)
    (39 votes)
569 votes total Vote Now

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