Friday, August 12, 2022

Sean Strickland Speaks Out Following UFC 276 Knockout Loss

For the first time in four years, UFC middleweight Sean Strickland left the Octagon empty-handed.

Strickland faced former Glory kickboxing champion Alex Pereira in a featured bout on the UFC 276 main card. It was tabbed as a No. 1 contender bout with the victor facing middleweight champion Israel Adesanya next.

After a feeling-out process on the feet, Pereira caught Strickland with a massive left hook just minutes into the fight which put him flat on his back. Before Pereira could deal follow-up damage, the fight was called as the referee stepped in to save Strickland.

Pereira will now likely face Adesanya next in a rematch of their two Glory kickboxing fights, in which Pereira came out victorious in both. He is also the only fighter to knock out Adesanya.

Strickland downplayed Pereira’s striking prowess in the lead-up to the fight, but it ended up backfiring in a significant way.

Sean Strickland “Going To Be Sad For A While” After UFC 276

In a recent Instagram post, Strickland addressed the loss and gave his thoughts on how the fight was going before the knockout. (h/t MMA Junkie)

“You never want to be someone’s highlight, but that’s the game we play,” Strickland said. “I tried to stand and bang with one of the best kickboxers. The sh*tty part about it was that during the round, I was like, ‘Man, this is going to be an easy fight. I see everything this guy is throwing. I’m getting the better of the exchanges. I’m going to beat this guy up for three rounds.’ And then halfway through, I got caught.

“So hat’s off to Alex, he’s a f*cking killer. Thank (you) all my coaches, sorry I didn’t get the win. It’s depressing, I’m going to be sad for a while. And fans, thank you for supporting me and on to the next one. It’s time to climb the ladder again.”

Entering the fight with Pereira, Strickland had won six straight over the likes of Uriah Hall and Jack Hermansson. He also stole the show at the UFC 276 pre-fight press conference and helped promote a potential fight against Adesanya.

But it wasn’t meant to be as Strickland suffered his first loss since making the full-time move from welterweight to middleweight. During his time at 170lbs, he fought against current welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and earned wins over Court McGee and Nordine Taleb.

Despite the obvious heartbreak of defeat, Strickland seems motivated for a return to the Octagon later this year to get back into the middleweight title conversation.

Were you surprised by how Sean Strickland vs. Alex Pereira played out?

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