Morning Report: Sean Strickland surprised Alex Pereira beat Israel Adesanya: ‘Izzy, you should have wrestled’
UFC 281 this past weekend marked the crowning moment of Alex Pereira’s incredibly young 8-fight MMA career. Competing for the UFC middleweight crown in only his fourth bout inside the octagon, Pereira remained Adesanya’s nightmare, disposing of the now-former champion via fifth-round TKO in comeback fashion.
To earn his title shot, the Brazilian scored a first-round knockout against top contender Strickland at UFC 276 this past July. A win for either man expected to see them square off with that evening’s main event winner, which was Adesanya who defeated Jared Cannonier by unanimous decision.
Despite his disdain for Adesanya and experience against Pereira, Strickland didn’t expect the matchup to end the way it did.
“He’s a f****** badass big motherf****** Brazilian and he touches you and you go to sleep, it’s the weirdest f****** thing,” Strickland jokingly told The Schmo. “But I was not expecting that. I was a little surprised. I thought ‘Izzy’ was gonna be a twinkle toes and f***** dance around and outpoint him, but f***** hats off to you, Alex. You f***** bigass f***** scary Brazilian. You f***** go out and f***** do it (claps hands).”
The biggest critique Strickland received following his lone middleweight defeat in July was that he should have attempted to wrestle with the superior kickboxer. A similar question from the community surrounded Adesanya because of his significant MMA experience advantage against Pereira, and he did end up utilizing a bit of his hidden skillset in the fight.
Thanks to his approach and talent, Adesanya found himself comfortably up on the judges’ scorecards going into round five, but ultimately succumbed to the overwhelming presence of “Poatan.” The finishing sequence saw “The Last Stylebender” taken out with tight punches up against the octagon wall, but never went down, providing a bit of controversy regarding whether or not it was an early stoppage.
“I mean technically when I got stopped I was still coherent, I wasn’t dead,” Strickland said of his Pereira loss. “I was awake, I was aware (laughs). But nah, it was a good stoppage [against Adesanya], man. I mean, that f***** guy has dynamite. If it wasn’t that, he would have f***** countered. The f***** guy, bro. Dynamite in his hands. I tried to tell you guys. I should have wrestled.
“‘Izzy,’ you should have f***** wrestled. What happened, man? Why didn’t you f***** wrestle? Now you’re getting the same speech I got from everybody. ‘Hey, Sean. Why didn’t you wrestle?’ Because he’s a big f***** Brazilian. I wanted to f***** fight him. That’s why.”
Still seeking his rebound victory, Strickland is currently gearing up to battle the aforementioned Cannonier to close out UFC’s 2022 calendar on Dec. 17 at UFC Vegas 66. Meanwhile, there’s no confirmation of an immediate rematch coming Adesanya’s way, but he wants it and the promotion could very well head in that direction with no real clarity amongst the top contenders at present.
“I mean, here’s the thing, it’s not right,” Strickland said. “They shouldn’t have an immediate rematch. You should give the next guy in line a shot, but f***** UFC does what UFC does. I mean, it’s all about money, bro. They look at that as ‘Izzy’ is the most marketable to fight, but yeah, that’s not right. He shouldn’t get the rematch.”https://www.mmafighting.com/2022/11/15/23458873/morning-report-sean-strickland-surprised-alex-pereira-beat-israel-adesanya-izzy-should-have-wrestled