Israel Adesanya Speaks Out for First Time About Loss To Sean Strickland

Israel Adesanya’s title loss to Sean Strickland at UFC 293 was one of the most shocking upsets in the history of the sport, and after taking some time out to let the dust settle afterwards, the former middleweight champ has now given his thoughts on the fight.

“How did I feel in there? Like a bad dream,” Israel Adesanya said on his YouTube channel.

“It wasn’t a nightmare. A nightmare is like, ‘Oh sh-t, f-ck.’ A nightmare is like you’re scared. It was just like, you try and hit the guy and it just feels like noodle arms. Just like, what the f-ck? So yeah, I just felt like that — like a bad dream. The feeling I had watching it was completely different, and I called (coach) Eugene (Bareman) right afterward and we talked — and same thing, I’m quietly confident.”

Adesanya also admitted that he didn’t do a good enough job of adapting to Strickland’s unorthodox but effective style and pressure over the course of the fight.

“I just wasn’t able to get my rhythm because of his pressure. He was right there constantly, and whenever I was setting him up because he’s right there, then his coach would help him, and I’d be like, ‘F-.’ It was just a good game plan from their end. But also, for me, I wasn’t able to adjust on the fly.

“I said it before the fight, I think his guard is just real unique and unorthodox, so I wasn’t able to find my jab,” Adesanya added. “And I’m able to find my jab (always). I can find the chin. I’m very confident in that, but his guard was just good. It was good. Good defense and good offense, well-rounded game.”

Watch Adesanya’s full thoughts on the fight below.

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.