Israel Adesanya left stunned after 'biggest' upset in UFC history

One of the greatest UFC middleweight champions of all-time was left stunned.

Sean Strickland (pictured right) has caused one of the biggest upsets in UFC history  having defeated Israel Adesanya (pictured left) in Sydney. (Getty Images)
Sean Strickland (pictured right) has caused one of the biggest upsets in UFC history having defeated Israel Adesanya (pictured left) in Sydney. (Getty Images)

The UFC world has been left absolutely stunned after brash American Sean Strickland completely outclassed Israel Adesanya to win the middleweight championship title in Sydney. In arguably the biggest upset in middleweight history, American Strickland dropped Adesanya in the first round with a heavy right-hand.

The champ survived the round as Strickland went for glory in an attempt to finish the bout before Adesanya could recover. Many fans expected the champ to bounce back and outclass Strickland after the break.

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But this was not the case. Strickland was on the front foot from the first moment to the last as Adesanya never recovered his legs and was pushed back and bullied across the five rounds.

Strickland goaded Adesanya in the final moments to engage him in a brawl, but the great champion seemed defeated as the clock ticked down. Strickland threw his hands in the air having realised the same as everyone else in attendance in Sydney, he was the new middleweight champion of the world.

Israel Adesanya's shock loss to Sean Strickland

Adesanya is now 1-2 in his last three fights having lost to Alex Pereira, before winning back his middleweight title in the rematch. But Adesanya looked out of sorts against Strickland's slick Philly-shell defence and never really looked to hurt the American underdog.

Judges scored it 49-46 on all cards for Strickland. Yahoo Sports had it 49-46 for Strickland, giving Adesanya only the second round.

“You guys, you know Izzy is a bad mother f***er, you guys,” Strickland said in the cage after the decision was announced. “You don’t fight that guy with how many highlight-reel knockout?

He’s beaten the majority of my friends [and] he’s beaten them pretty easily. And man, I was even down on myself at times, but I’ve got to thank the fans of Australia. You guys motivated me.”

Adesanya could seek a rematch to avenge his loss, but the former champ never looked like himself in the octagon. The two biggest upsets in UFC history were Holly Holm knocking out Ronda Rousey for the women’s bantamweight title and Matt Serra finishing Georges St-Pierre for the welterweight belt.

with Yahoo Sports US - Kevin Iole

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