Strickland is an unlikely UFC title challenger

Sean Strickland was a 5-3 UFC WW. Yes he was already 2-0 in the UFC MW division and 20-3 in the sport of MMA overall but he was still a 5-3 UFC WW before he headed back to MW towards the end of 2020.

If you talked about potential 2023 MW title challengers two or three years ago of course people would speculate about what the future held for Chris Weidman, Robert Whittaker, Alex Pereira, Costa, Chimaev, Vettori, Rodolfo Vieira, Phil Hawes and later Bo Nickal but I’m not sure anyone would have a strong opinion as to why Sean Strickland was gonna climb the ranks to a title fight in 2023.

Its just interesting how a couple of training partners like Strickland and Curtis have defied the odds at MW the past few years.



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interestingly, Strickland, Whitaker, Gastelum, Curtis, all 170ers who went up to 185 and found more success do have some commonalities. They all have good enough wrestling/grappling to avoid it. Have really good chins. They find success putting striking pressure on you.


very rarely do people drop a weight class and do well or if they cut a lot it almost always backfires Except for teams that use IVs

izzy needed a stay busy fight after fighting alex P twice in a row

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I think it really depends and this is totally debatable on styles and weight classes.

BJ Penn looked better at 155, Conor looked better at 145, Jared at 185, etc. On the flip all people mentioned above, but is it due to being healthier or because 170 is filled with grapplers and 185 more strikers?

Bisping upset Rockhold and won the title in 2016 and closed around a 7-1 dog before the fight. Same thing here with Stickland who also closed around a 7-1 dog vs Adesanya last night.

Strickland had never been a huge dog in any of his UFC fights. He even closed as the favorite vs Pereira and it was almost even money vs Cannonier as I look at the odds here at bestfightodds.

Anyway, props to Stickland on a great performance there and what a huge upset that was.

Strickland closed a 2.5-1 dog vs Usman and thats the biggest dog he had ever been in the UFC before last night.