News, Sean Strickland vs Israel Adesanya Rematch, Next Fight, Latest, Dana White, Daniel Cormier

Israel Adesanya wants an immediate rematch with American Sean Strickland – and will almost certainly get it from the UFC – although Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier warns: “The division has to move on.”

Australia once again hosted one of the biggest upsets in UFC history after Strickland won the middleweight title via unanimous decision as an underdog with a $5.80 TAB.

Afterwards, Adesanya made only a brief appearance before the media, saying he wanted to be with his family, before disappearing to leave head coach Eugene Bareman to spend the next 15 minutes answering questions – including saying they have a rematch as soon as next weekend wanted to.

“I don’t know if (the UFC) will grant that,” Bareman added. “But we are very confident that with very small adjustments we can change the outcome of this fight.”

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UFC president Dana White also suggested Adesanya be given a rematch despite the New Zealand megastar having now lost two of his last three title fights.

Adesanya lost his title to Brazilian Alex Pereira at UFC 281 before regaining it via knockout at UFC 287.

During commentary, former two-division UFC champion Daniel Cormier warned that Adesanya needs to “take some time” before facing Strickland again.

“I think he needs some time,” DC said of the champion, who was making his 11th straight UFC title fight. “Adesanya needs time.

“It’s hard to stay at the top for so long.

“I remember fighting for the belt three times a year – after the fight in October I said, ‘I’ll see you next summer.'” Because you just need time.

“It’s not necessarily the fights, even if you fight against the most dangerous men in the world. It’s the training camp.

“And this guy has been the main event way too many times in a short period of time.”

Soon after, Cormier added: “It’s a big difference too, because the last time Izzy lost, all we could talk about was that he should be next again.”

“I don’t think so this time.

“I don’t think he should fight for the belt next. I think the division needs to evolve a little bit.”


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When Adesanya went to the press conference after the fight, he went on stage, sat down, grabbed the microphone and said, “Break.”

Then, after doing the same himself, he continued: “I had a different plan for it, but life throws you curveballs.

“Win or lose, I didn’t want to say much anyway, but I lost to the better man tonight and I want to be with people who care about me.” My team.

“So I will do that.

“But I leave you in the capable hands of a man much smarter than me.

“I admit it to the world, to the international media… I’ll leave it to Eugene Bareman, who will deal with it for the first time.

“I’m going to relax, have some breakfast and be with the family.

“See you next time …”

Enter Bareman, who not only called for an immediate rematch with Strickland, but also hinted that his starfighter had endured a night in the Octagon.

The coach also admitted that Adesanya made the decision to do most of the talking.

“It’s not protocol, but that’s our team, that’s how we do it,” he said.

“If he wants to leave, he wants to be protected, and it’s our job to protect him. That’s what he wants and that’s what he gets.”

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When asked why Adesanya seemed so slow and refused to commit so often, he began: “Um, look, the universe does things.

“I think Sean is a great fighter and I never thought he wouldn’t be able to defeat Israel.

“But I thought that if Israel reached its full potential, it would be very difficult for Sean.

“But there was the universe where Israel performed at their worst or worst and Sean could win. And I’m sitting in this universe right now.

“He had an off night.

“The training camp was great, the fight was great, the sparring partners, everything, they were all perfect… I don’t make any excuses on that.

“He (Adesanya) came in and had an off night.

“He couldn’t see the things we were seeing.

“He couldn’t connect well with the corner. It was a frustrating night.

“And it was a frustrating night because of the opponent, don’t take anything away from them.”


Bareman admitted Adesanya became “hesitant” after being dropped by Strickland with a brutal straight right in the first round.

“What Sean did — and again, I give great credit to Sean — that right hand man … made Israel hesitant,” he said.

“And how did he make Israel hesitant? He bit (on the mouthguard) and threw every time Israel threw.

“He countered no matter what.

“So whether Israel came 50 percent of the time, 60 percent of the time, or 100 percent of the time, Sean would persevere and counter.

“And when you’re faced with that, it’s difficult. There is a mental block.

“He had to find a way to overcome this mental block and struggled with it all night.

“And we struggled with that too.”

Surprised he didn’t fight?

Soon after, Bareman continued: “I say we couldn’t get Israel to implement our plan.

“There wasn’t a lot of cohesion in the corner.

“And there are nights like that too.

“But I think we can play the second leg tomorrow and have a good evening.”

Bareman also admitted that while the team wanted a rematch, they were well aware of the challenge ahead.

“Throughout my career I have attended a few rematch camps and they were very, very difficult,” he said.

“Because you’re trying to find other stones that you can’t turn over, (even though) you already haven’t turned over the stones.

“So it’s an almost impossible task to find another level beyond what you’ve already achieved.

“So these rematch camps are very difficult.

“We recently did one for (Alex) Pereira.

“But I don’t think we’ll change too much and we’ll find something.

“We’re going to get down to business as a coaching staff and find something to add to this camp. We want the second leg.”

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So what was next for Strickland?

“It’s like a whole new world. Like The Little Mermaid – a whole new world,” laughed DC, who actually quoted from the Aladdin movie.

“Sean Strickland now opens up the possibility for so many new encounters.

“(Jared) Cannonier just weighed in as well and picked up a win over Sean Strickland.

“But I have to imagine that Dricus du Plessis will be the next man up, especially after he was the one who was supposed to be here tonight.

“I’m telling you, he’s worried right now in South Africa because if there was a time to get Adesanya, this night would be it.

“I think you Plessis unless Khamzat Chimaev completely eliminates Paulo Costa (at UFC 294).” News, Sean Strickland vs Israel Adesanya Rematch, Next Fight, Latest, Dana White, Daniel Cormier

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