UFC 293 takeaways: Strickland's major upset continues shocking UFC trend

UFC 293 concluded with a shock as Sean Strickland pulled off the major upset to grab the middleweight title from Israel Adesanya. 

Before that, some standout performances on the main card put Alexander Volkov and Manel Kape on an interesting path. 

Brett Okamoto, Marc Raimondi and Jeff Wagenheim react to the biggest moments of the night.

Israel Adesanya had everything set up for him. He was fighting in Sydney, a quick hop across the Tasman Sea from his home in Auckland, New Zealand.

 It was Adesanya's first bout Down Under since he won the UFC middleweight championship in 2019. Back then, 

he put on a sublime performance both inside the cage and during a boldly choreographed walkout. Now he was back, again positioned to entertain the fans in his corner of the world.

But Sean Strickland instead turned the UFC 293 main event into his show on Saturday, walking down Adesanya for five rounds 

and battering him to earn a clear unanimous decision and become 185-pound champ in a true shocker.

This event at Qudos Bank Arena was conceived as an Adesanya showcase. Strickland was a Plan B opponent booked for the title fight only after Dricus Du Plessis, 

who became the top-ranked 185-pound contender two months ago with an upset of former champ Robert Whittaker, could not make this date. 

Strickland was well down in the middleweight rankings and on just a two-fight winning streak. The American's résumé showed not a single victory over anyone in the top five.

But Strickland was ready and willing, and even as a 5-1 betting underdog, he was the perfect foil for Adesanya. 

Strickland is a fighter who plods forward, unafraid of getting hit. And hitting is what Adesanya is known for.


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