Sean Strickland won and dethroned UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya on the night of Sept. 9.
Sean Strickland won and dethroned UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya on the night of Sept. 9.
Sean Asay

Greetings to the New Champion of the Middleweight Division

The Ultimate Fighting Championship, known as the UFC, is a mixed martial arts event that requires lots of skill, precision, timing and perseverance. Many fighters who qualify to be in it are picked because they are considered to be promising to the future of fighting. Although most fighters that are in the UFC are great, there is a point in time where the best fighters of their division will contest each other for the title of champion. 

In many combat sports, the middleweight division has been home to amazing fights along with an entertaining roster that draws many fans across the world. Even with the very young UFC, created in 1993, the middleweight division has proved itself to be full of amazing fights and outstanding fighters. 

One can’t possibly talk about these amazing fighters in the division without giving mention to fighter Israel Adesanya, also known as the Last Style-bender. Adesanya is the current reigning champion of the middleweight division. He is also ranked as number five on the list of pound-for-pound fighters.  

Adesanya has proven himself to be the best of his division, but fighter Sean Strickland has made it clear he is ready to take on Adesanya. Although Strickland is a good fighter, he is only the top five contender for the belt according to the official UFC website, which puts a lot of fans on edge about this fight which will take place on September 9 and is available to watch on ESPN+. 

The number one contender, fighter Dricus Du Plessis, was the fighter that many fans anticipated to fight Adesanya for the belt after he made a callout against the champion. Du Plessis commented in a post-fight interview that he would be the first “real” African champion. This set off a lot of excitement for their fight, unfortunately, Du Plessis had a foot injury, which stopped the chances that they would fight in this event. 

The odds of this fight makes Adesanya out to be the favored fighter with a win percentage of 86.7 according to the UFC. Students around Eagle High school have high hopes that Adesanya will win this fight.  

“I have my money on the Last Style-Bender, Israel Adesanya.” said junior Nathan Kendall. Kendall is not the only student who had an opinion on Adesanya winning the fight. 

“I think Israel Adesanya will win by knockout in the third round,” said junior Brandon Michael Thomas.  

It seems that this fight will either be a nail-biting cinematic masterpiece, or a complete snooze-fest that nobody will watch. Strickland and Adesanya are great fighters in their own ways. Will Strickland be another notch on the champ’s belt, or will he end up on top and be remembered as the man who took down Israel Adesanya? Only time will tell.  

UPDATE: This article was written before the fight, which had happened on September 9 as stated above. The aftermath of this fight has definitely surprised some fans as the event that everyone was expecting to be a complete drop of Strickland had turned out to be the complete opposite. Adesanya had gotten battered by Strickland and came out of the fight as middleweight champion. 

People are shocked to see that Strickland was able to hold his own fighting the champion. Adesanya is considered one of the best strikers in the UFC, so to see him lose to Strickland has definitely shocked fans around the world. Strickland was able to drop Adesanya in the first round and took matters into his own hands as he kept landing clean punches and downplayed any offense that was coming towards him from Adesanya. People believe that the reason Strickland performed so amazing is because of his coach, Eric Nicksick. Nicksick was seemingly able to call out to Strickland and predict Adesanya’s movements before they happened which led to Strickland being able to take the lead in the fight. Adesanya even credited Nicksick for being able to stop his offense, even saying to Nicksick backstage that he, “saved Strickland’s life.” 

Junior Brandon Michael Thomas was asked what he thought about the unexpected twist, after he had said that Adesanya would win by the third-round knockout.  

Thomas said “the hit that stunned Adesanya pretty much knocked him out of the fight. He wasn’t the same after that.” 

Adesanya was pretty upset after his loss, but it seems that Strickland had gotten the better of him. Everyone is awaiting to see whether a rematch is in play as UFC president Dana White said there was a rematch in mind, but he didn’t want other title fights off of the table. It seems that fans are excited to see what matchups could possibly happen as Strickland is definitely an explosive fighter that could make the fight more anticipating. 

Overall, with the bringing of the new champion, there is a lot of possibility and variety that could come with it, and there is the question of if Strickland will prove himself champion or let it slip away. It all depends on the next upcoming fights. 

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