Sean Strickland believes Israel Adesanya doesn’t deserve next title shot against Alex Pereira: “It’s not right”

By Josh Evanoff - November 15, 2022

UFC middleweight contender Sean Strickland believes Israel Adesanya doesn’t deserve a rematch with Alex Pereira.

Israel Adesanya, Sean Strickland, UFC

‘The Last Stylebender’ returned to action last Saturday in the main event of UFC 281. Standing opposite the then-champion was ‘Poatan’. While he’s only been in the MMA promotion for a year, he has a lengthy history with Adesanya.

That lengthy history includes the Brazilian holding two wins over the former middleweight champion. Prior to UFC 281, Pereira was also the only man to ever knockout Adesanya in any combat sports competition. Now, he’s done it twice.

In the main event last weekend, Alex Pereira defeated Israel Adesanya by fifth-round stoppage. With that, his lengthy title reign was over, but he’s not out of the championship conversation just yet. In the days since his loss, Adesanya has called for a rematch with Pereira.

Many wouldn’t have an issue with the instant rematch, given the former champion’s resume at 185-pounds. However, one man would disagree with the title shot, and that would be Sean Strickland.

In an interview with The Schmo, ‘Tarzan’ hit back at the idea that Adesanya deserves a title shot next. In his eyes, the division should move forward with a new contender next.

Israel Adesanya Alex Pereira

(via Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

“I mean, here’s the thing. It’s not right. He shouldn’t have an immediate rematch,” Strickland said. “You should give the next guy in line a shot. But f*cking, UFC does what UFC does. I mean, it’s all about money, bro. They look at that as Izzy is the most marketable fight. But yeah, it’s not right and he shouldn’t get a rematch.” (h/t MMA News)

Sean Strickland is currently set to return in December in a five-round headliner against Jared Cannonier. Despite already holding a loss to the new champion, there’s little doubt that he would be back in the title picture with a big win.

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Alex Pereira Israel Adesanya Sean Strickland UFC