Big Upset at UFC 293: Israel Adesanya Defeated – What’s Next?

Key Takeaways:

  • Sean Strickland secured a surprising victory over Israel Adesanya to claim the UFC middleweight title, marking a major upset in championship history.
  • Experts debate whether Strickland’s win qualifies as the most impressive title upset in UFC history.
  • Questions arise about the state of the UFC middleweight division, with the belt changing hands frequently.
  • Insightful analysis on what Israel Adesanya should consider for his next steps after the loss.
  • A discussion on Valentina Shevchenko’s place among the greatest female fighters in MMA history.

Strickland’s Historic Victory Over Adesanya

In a shocking turn of events at UFC 293, Sean Strickland emerged victorious over Israel Adesanya to claim the UFC middleweight title. Adesanya, widely regarded as one of the greatest middleweights in the sport’s history, faced a comprehensive unanimous decision defeat at the hands of Strickland. This upset has sparked debates about its place in UFC history.

Raimondi: This victory is “kinda real” when it comes to being the most impressive title upset in UFC history. Strickland’s win was marked by a unanimous decision victory, unlike some other major upsets that resulted from quick finishes. The manner in which Strickland dominated Adesanya across five rounds cannot be denied.

Okamoto: While remarkable, this upset doesn’t take the top spot. Past upsets like Matt Serra’s knockout of Georges St-Pierre or Holly Holm’s victory over Ronda Rousey were more impactful. However, Strickland’s performance was undoubtedly impressive.

Wagenheim: Strickland’s victory was mighty impressive, but it doesn’t rank as the most impressive upset in UFC championship history. Several iconic upsets have occurred over the years, and in each case, the reigning champion hadn’t recently suffered a knockout, as Adesanya did.

The State of the UFC Middleweight Division

With the middleweight title changing hands frequently, questions arise about the division’s competitiveness. While Sean Strickland currently holds the belt, many believe Israel Adesanya remains the best in the division, making it “up for grabs.”

Wagenheim: Other divisions, such as light heavyweight and women’s bantamweight, are even more “up for grabs” due to vacant titles. Middleweight, at least, has a champion to chase.

Raimondi: The status of the middleweight division depends on Adesanya’s trajectory. If he returns and regains the title, the division might not be as open as it seems. Khamzat Chimaev also awaits as a potential contender.

Okamoto: The division is considered “up for grabs” mainly because Strickland doesn’t dominate it like Adesanya did. However, other divisions, such as women’s bantamweight and bantamweight, offer more parity and uncertainty.

What’s Next for Israel Adesanya?

Following his loss, experts advise Israel Adesanya to take a break and focus on mental recovery. His recent schedule, high-pressure fights, and a knockout loss necessitate time away from the sport.

Wagenheim: Adesanya should prioritize rest and reflection. Mentally, he appeared to lack motivation during his last fight, suggesting a need to rediscover his passion.

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Okamoto: Adesanya should take a break from the sport, recharge, and return when the time is right. His relentless schedule and competitive pressure have taken a toll.

Raimondi: A break is crucial for Adesanya, given his recent intense activity. His remarkable legacy in the sport deserves time away for recuperation.

Valentina Shevchenko’s Place Among Female Fighters

Valentina Shevchenko’s remarkable reign as the UFC women’s flyweight champion, marked by seven consecutive title defenses, earns her a place among the greatest female fighters in MMA history.

Okamoto: Shevchenko ranks fourth among the greatest women’s fighters, with Amanda Nunes, Ronda Rousey, and Cris Cyborg ahead. Her legacy continues to evolve.

Raimondi: Probably in the top five. Amanda Nunes is at the top of the list. Ronda Rousey has to be on there somewhere. Cris Cyborg. Shevchenko is among those names, for sure. Shevchenko’s reign as the UFC women’s flyweight champion was historic. She had seven successful title defenses, the most consecutive title defenses by any woman in UFC history. Only Nunes had more total (eight) across two different divisions.

Wagenheim: While not the top-ranked female fighter, Shevchenko’s impressive run as a dominant champion solidifies her place among the sport’s legends.

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Tyler Potts

Tyler Potts is experienced football tipster and blogger. He has over two years of experience as a freelance football analyst and journalist. His hobbies include team sports, windsurfing and climbing. He loves the Bundesliga and the German national team. Tyler is invariable part of BettingID’s journalist team.

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