UFC 293 is set to go down in Sydney, Australia this Saturday night when America’s Strickland challenges two-time middleweight king Israel Adesanya for the divisional throne. Before he gets to throw hands with the champion, however, Strickland already got into it with the Aussie faithful.
Earlier this week, Strickland revealed that he punched a fan “right in the guts” after being approached and told Adesanya would “f*** him up.” UFC President Dana White wasn’t thrilled about the interaction but also expressed that it wasn’t as crazy as perhaps Strickland made it out to be.
“Do you know where the news came from that he punched a fan?” White asked at last night’s Contender Series post-fight press conference in response to a question about the incident. “[From him,] yeah. He’s a beauty. He played it up more than whatever. It was jokingly, the fan and him are cool.
“Going into this, I knew what this week was gonna be like. Yes, we’re prepared for it and yes we have people around him now so he won’t be punching people in the stomach anymore. For fun or not for fun.”
Strickland has notoriously become one of the biggest loose cannons on the UFC roster, at least when it comes to his verbal filter — or lack thereof. Never shy to share how he feels about any topic, Strickland has openly bashed his opponent Adesanya for mostly non-fight-related parts of his life. Therefore, leaving fans with plenty of anticipation for tomorrow’s pre-fight press conference.
For Adesanya, Strickland will act as the first title defense of his second reign as UFC middleweight champion. White has always been complimentary of having “The Last Stylebender” as one of his champions and with a sixth career title defense could see future divisional options looking sparse.
“It’s hard to talk about that stuff until a guy’s done with his career,” White said of Adesanya’s all-time great status. “The one thing about Israel — and I say it all the time — he always wants to fight. As soon as the fight’s over, a lot of these guys take their time, some guys fight twice, once a year. This kid, as soon as the fight is over, he’s already in the back telling [UFC CBO] Hunter [Campbell] what he wants next. Where he wants to go next and who he wants to fight next, he wants to fight in three months.
“Listen, he’s creating a serious legacy for himself. He’s actually starting to — after Strickland — he’s almost cleaned out the division.”
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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Here is a list of all the LFA champions in the history of the promotion and their records in the UFC.— Al Zullino (@phre) September 5, 2023
The overall winning percentage is 51.60%. pic.twitter.com/MgFOsgZ68s
Here is a list of all the Cage Fury Fighting Championship champions in the history of the promotion and their records in the UFC.— Al Zullino (@phre) September 5, 2023
The overall winning percentage is 51.55%.
( became CFFC champs after parted ways with the UFC) pic.twitter.com/y91yYmeT9P
At their prime, Eddie— Dr. Dave@KravMaga (@DrFamili) September 1, 2023
Not me cuh— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) September 5, 2023
You got it back in the 2nd fight Respect ✊ but let’s be real… I out dogged you the first match up I’d def do it again if we rumbled a 3rd .— Eddie Alvarez (@Ealvarezfight) September 6, 2023
Israel Adesanya doesn't fancy his chances against a tiger. Alex Volkanovski on the other hand... pic.twitter.com/PetScKq7ga— Oscar Willis (@oscarswillis) September 5, 2023
The Renan Barao post-UFC experiment continues. Best of luck, sweet prince.
Thanks for reading!
Who wins this weekend?
This poll is closed
Israel Adesanya and Tai Tuivasa
Israel Adesanya and Alexander Volkov
Sean Strickland and Tai Tuivasa
Sean Strickland and Alexander Volkov