After becoming middleweight champion at UFC 293, what’s next for Sean Strickland?

MMA: UFC 293 - Adesanya vs Strickland
Jasmin Frank-USA TODAY Sports

This past Saturday night in the main event of UFC 293, we saw an incredible battle in the middleweight division for the title. Israel Adesanya (24-3) was fighting close to home and he was looking to defend his title against an unlikely challenger in Sean Strickland (28-5).

Originally, the UFC wanted Dricus Du Plessis to fight Adesanya. However, DDP had a number of injuries that prevented the fight from happening. Adesanya was set on fighting in Australia and because of that, the promotion settled on Sean Strickland to be the challenger.

Strickland was a massive underdog heading into the fight. Little to no one really gave him a chance to win because of Adesanya’s striking skills. However, Sean Strickland put on a masterclass and not only won on Saturday night, he completely dominated the fight.

In the first round, he dropped Adesanya badly with a right straight. All night long, Strickland was defending every shot Adesanya threw and made him miss. Meanwhile, Strickland was connecting pretty much whenever he wanted. After five-rounds, we all saw a one-sided beating and now Sean Strickland is the UFC middleweight champion.

What’s next after UFC 293?

After this fight, the promotion is in an interesting spot. Dricus Du Plessis was the clear number one contender after finishing Robert Whittaker just a couple of months ago. However, will he still get the shot after the result at UFC 293? Adesanya could get an immediate rematch and Dana White seemed interested in that on Saturday night.

Another contender to watch out for is Khamzat Chimaev should Chimaev defeat Paulo Costa next month at UFC 294. If Costa wins, there’s no way he’s getting a title shot. However, if Chimaev dominates Costa, I could see him being granted the next middleweight title fight.

Either way, Strickland will be fighting one of these three next: Israel Adesanya, Dricus Du Plessis, or Khamzat Chimaev. I know Jared Cannonier weighed in as the backup, but I can’t see him getting the next shot over any of the three listed above.

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