Former UFC Champion Israel Adesanya On Sean Strickland Rematch – “I Just Know The Strickland Fight Will Come Back Around”

Former UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya appeared on the ‘This Past Weekend’ podcast with Theo Von earlier this week, and touched on a future rematch with Sean Strickland.

Back at UFC 293 in September, Sean Strickland earned a convincing unanimous decision victory over the long reigning champion.

While Strickland was unable to defend the title in his next match against Dricus Du Plessis, he still holds the win over Adesanya, and that is clearly playing a role in motivating “The Last Stylebender” to return to the Octagon.

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“This took me six years to accomplish,” Adesanya said on avenging his loss to Alex Pereira on “This Past Weekend” w/ Theo Von. “With Strickland, it won’t take me that long. Let me just get through DDP (Du Plessis) first. Let me handle – I look to the next fight. I look ahead, like a little peek at the future. But I don’t try and focus on it.

“I just know the Strickland fight will come back around. I’m in a good place now health-wise, mentally, and I know exactly what happened in that fight that just wasn’t for me. He’s a great fighter. He’s also a good champion. What a reign. I mean, he did what he did. He did what he did. Look, even the way he beat me, it was spectacular. It was his moment.”


In November 2022, Adesanya got caught in a powerful fifth round flurry from now 205-pound champion Alex Pereira. Prior to that bout, the pair had met twice in the kickboxing ring, with Pereira reining supreme on both occasions. Finally, at UFC 287 last April, Adesanya exacted his revenge on his rival by delivering a career highlight counter right hook that separated the Brazilian striker from his senses.

Now Adesanya has another loss to avenge on his mind. While he does not feel the uphill battle versus Strickland will be as steep as it was against Pereira, he still credits the brash American for what he was able to accomplish to earn the title.

“That was his night,” Adesanya said. “He just fought the perfect fight no matter what. I made no excuses. I gave it to him. But again, like I say, I’m a patient motherf*cker. I take my time. I reassess and, yeah, I go for what I want.”


Nothing is currently on the books for Adesanya’s return, but the speculation is that he will face Du Plessis for the title, then the former champion has his eyes set on avenging his loss to Strickland.

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