What’s next for Sean Strickland and Israel Adesanya after UFC 293?

By Cole Shelton - September 11, 2023

In the main event of UFC 293, the middleweight title was up for grabs as Israel Adesanya was looking to defend his strap against Sean Strickland.

Sean Strickland and Israel Adesanya UFC 293

Adesanya entered the fight having reclaimed his title last time out with a KO win over Alex Pereira back in April. Before that, he suffered a fifth-round TKO loss to Pereira to lose his middleweight title. Strickland, meanwhile, was just 2-2 in his last four but was riding a two-fight win streak as he TKO’d Abus Magomedov his last time out.

Ultimately, it was Strickland who pulled off one of the biggest upsets in UFC history as he won a clear-cut unanimous decision and even dropped Adesanya in the first round. Now, following UFC 293, here is what I think should be next for both Strickland and Adesanya following UFC 293.

Sean Strickland

Sean Strickland stunned many as he pulled off a massive upset with his decision win over Israel Adesanya at UFC 293. Strickland was not even supposed to be fighting for the belt but got the chance when Dricus Du Plessis was not able to go due to an injury. The American had a great performance as he pressured Adesanya and didn’t let ‘The Last Stylebender’ get going at all.

With the win, Strickland will have options for his first title defense. Israel Adesanya and his team called for an immediate rematch, but I don’t think the rematch should happen. Instead, Du Plessis deserves a title shot and should get to fight Strickland sometime in the first quarter of 2024.

Israel Adesanya

Israel Adesanya didn’t have much for Sean Strickland as he was pressured the entire time and couldn’t get going striking-wise as he was flat-footed for most of the fight.

After the loss at UFC 293, Adesanya didn’t speak in the Octagon and gave a brief statement at the post-fight press conference but didn’t take any questions. His coach Eugene Bareman called for an immediate rematch, but Adesanya is 4-3 in his last seven and just had an immediate rematch last time out after winning the belt.

At this point, Israel Adesanya shouldn’t get an immediate rematch every time he loses and he will now need to take another fight. Adesanya should only need to win one fight, but that opponent should be the winner of Khamzat Chimaev vs. Paulo Costa next month.


Israel Adesanya Sean Strickland UFC