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UFC 293: Robert Whittaker Breaks Down Sean Strickland vs. Israel Adesanya

10 months ago By Sports Desk

Robert Whittaker is giving Sean Strickland all the credit for making Israel Adesanya look underwhelming at UFC 293. 

Strickland challenged Adesanya for the middleweight title at UFC 23 at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney last weekend. Given Adesanya’s record and dominance, many expected this to be an easy title defense for ‘The Last Stylebender.’ However, the fight itself told a very different story. 

Sean Strickland dominated Israel Adesanya over five rounds to secure an incredible unanimous decision victory and take home the 185-pound strap. In the aftermath, many heaped praise on the 32-year-old American for his resilience and grit. However, there were many who speculated about Adesanya having an “off” day and cited his activeness as the reason. 

Robert Whittaker, who’s faced Adesanya twice unsuccessfully, wholeheartedly disagrees and claims it was Strickland’s skillset that helped him defeat Adesanya. ‘The Reaper’ analyzed Strickland’s performance against Adesanya on a recent episode of the MMArcade podcast. 

During the episode, the former middleweight champion claimed that ‘Tarzan’s awkward striking was unpredictable for his opponent, and he functionally nullified every single threat ‘The Last Stylebender’ presented. Whittaker cleverly pointed out that Sean Strickland shut down Israel Adesanya’s counters by maintaining constant forward pressure. 

Robert Whittaker further broke down how ‘Tarzan’ depleted the Nigerian-born Kiwi’s gas tank by consistently keeping him on the back foot. This was largely due to Strickland’s patience, which prevented him from engaging in any reckless striking exchanges against the award-winning kickboxer. 

With Sean Strickland as the new middleweight king, the UFC has many interesting options for his first title defense. While Adesanya will likely get an immediate rematch, Dricus Du Plessis and Jared Cannonier are also waiting for their turn. Meanwhile, a pivotal middleweight matchup between Khamzat Chimaev and Paulo Costa is set to take place at UFC 294. The outcome of that fight could also determine Strickland’s next opponent. 

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