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Early stoppage? Sean Strickland shares his take on Alex Pereira’s win over Israel Adesanya at UFC 281

Sean Strickland knows a thing or two about losing to Alex Pereira.

Alex Pereira when he fought Israel Adesanya at UFC 281.
Alex Pereira when he fought Israel Adesanya at UFC 281.
Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports

Israel Adesanya lost to Alex Pereira this past weekend via TKO in the fifth and final round. The end came as Pereira bludgeoned Adesanya against the fence, forcing referee Marc Goddard to wave off the contest.

Adesanya has since claimed that the stoppage was early and that he was merely waiting for Pereira to tire himself out. At that point in the fight Adesanya was almost certainly ahead on the scorecards and on his way to his sixth UFC title defense.

One person who is perfectly qualified to weigh in on the finishing power of Poatan is Sean Strickland. Pereira beat Strickland, by KO, to set up his title fight with Adesanya (in only his fifth ever UFC bout).

Strickland spoke to The Schmo about Pereira’s title clinching win.

“He’s a f****** badass big motherf****** Brazilian and he touches you and you go to sleep, it’s the weirdest f****** thing,” he said (ht MMA Fighting). “But I was not expecting that. I was a little surprised. I thought ‘Izzy’ was gonna be a twinkle toes and f***** dance around and outpoint him, but f***** hats off to you, Alex. You f***** bigass f***** scary Brazilian. You f***** go out and f***** do it.”

“I mean technically when I got stopped I was still coherent, I wasn’t dead,” continued Strickland, speaking of his own loss to Pereira; which happened earlier this year. “I was awake, I was aware. But nah, it was a good stoppage [against Adesanya], man. I mean, that f***** guy has dynamite. If it wasn’t that, he would have f***** countered. The f***** guy, bro. Dynamite in his hands. I tried to tell you guys. I should have wrestled.

“‘Izzy,’ you should have f***** wrestled. What happened, man? Why didn’t you f***** wrestle? Now you’re getting the same speech I got from everybody. ‘Hey, Sean. Why didn’t you wrestle?’ Because he’s a big f***** Brazilian. I wanted to f***** fight him. That’s why.”

Strickland also discussed whether he thinks the UFC should run it back and have Adesanya immediately rematch with Pereira for the 185 lb belt.

“I mean, here’s the thing, it’s not right. They shouldn’t have an immediate rematch. You should give the next guy in line a shot, but f***** UFC does what UFC does. I mean, it’s all about money, bro. They look at that as ‘Izzy’ is the most marketable to fight, but yeah, that’s not right. He shouldn’t get the rematch.”