Sean Strickland’s Difference In Approach Between Adesanya & DDP Fights Pointed Out Ahead Of Paulo Costa Contest: ‘It Changed Him…’

Sean Strickland was able to shock the world with his middleweight title win and dominant performance against Israel Adesanya.

He came in a huge underdog at UFC 293 and was able to successfully implement his style in order to cause all kinds of problems for “The Last Stylebender”.

Whilst his first title defense was still a closely contended fight, Dricus Du Plessis didn’t have many of the same problems when facing Strickland at UFC 297.

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The challenger still struggled to land anything clean on the champion and of course, styles make fights so he was able to threaten with his grappling more.

There may be lessons that can be learned from these two fights about Strickland’s trajectory which could end up being crucial in his return this weekend.

‘Big’ John McCarthy Says Sean Strickland Needs To Find His Groove Against Paulo Costa 

At UFC 302, Strickland will face Paulo Costa in the co-main event over five rounds in Newark, New Jersey

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The former champion certainly has some attributes that he may be able to use effectively in this fight but there was also one concern that has been highlighted.

On the latest episode of the Weighing In podcast, “Big” John McCarthy spoke about how the pressure on Strickland changed massively between UFC 293 and 297.

McCarthy believes that against Du Plessis, the champion at the time was too reserved and cautious at times and as a result, was unable to control the fight or bully his opponent.

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Forcing a dangerous striker like Costa to back up versus letting him dictate the range and pace could be absolutely vital for Strickland as he attempts to bounce back.

“The real question is, and you bring up the Izzy fight, I thought Sean went into that fight similar to what I was talking with Dustin, he had no pressure on him. No one expected him to win, there’s no pressure, just go be you and he did. You go and look at the DDP fight, he had a ton of pressure on him and it changed him. He was a lot tighter during the fight, you could see where he was pressing at time. He just was not in that flow like he was against Izzy, he needs to get back to that.”  

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