HomeSportSean Strickland get floored by Kamaru Usman in brutal defeat that led...

Sean Strickland get floored by Kamaru Usman in brutal defeat that led to weight change and UFC 293 title shot

Sean Strickland and Kamaru Usman were matched up during their days as welterweight prospects.

The man who will face Israel Adesanya for the middleweight title at UFC 293 in Sydney, Australia, on Saturday night ended up being beaten down by ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ for three rounds.


Usman proved his level by beating up Strickland six years agoCredit: Getty

‘Tarzan’ only managed to land 30 of his 108 significant strike attempts, while Usman hit him 117 times and secured two takedowns during their 15-minute preliminary fight at UFC 210 in April 2017.  

At this point, the future welterweight king wasn’t known for his knockout power, but he gave fans a glimpse of it when he floored Strickland in the second stanza.

Usman threw a looping overhand right that caught his rival on the tip of the chin when they separated from a clinch position against the fence.

Strickland’s legs collapsed underneath him, and he hit the floor hard before trying to get back to his feet only to fall again while attempting to avoid Usman’s follow-up strikes.

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Ultimately, he proved his toughness by surviving until the final bell, but his efforts were not rewarded by the judges who named Usman the winner courtesy of a lopsided 30–27, 30–26, and 30–26 unanimous decision.

In 2020, Strickland admitted he knew he was going to lose against Usman because he had no real wrestling experience and tried to quickly learn how to grapple.

“I never wrestled. I was a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu and I was like, ‘I’m a Jiu-Jitsu guy, f*** wrestling. I’ll do stand-up and if he takes me down, yeah, I’ll tap him out,’” he told The Scrap.

“I bring a bunch of high-level wrestlers into my camp. And dude, I am just getting f***** up all camp. The whole eight weeks, bro. These high-level wrestlers are just beating me into the ground while I’m like, ‘I’m gonna f****** lose this fight.’

'Tarzan' left the welterweight division behind soon after


‘Tarzan’ left the welterweight division behind soon afterCredit: getty

“I remember walking out there and I had these wrestlers in my corner warming me up, and they were taking me down in the backroom! I had no chance because if these guys are taking me down, he’s gonna take me down.”

Since then, Strickland’s wrestling has come a long way and many consider it his best route to victory against Adesanya this weekend.

The 32-year-old had a few more fights at welterweight before moving up 15lbs and winning five consecutive bouts to put himself on the brink of UFC glory.

However, he got knocked out by Alex Pereira before being outpointed by Jared Cannonier during a disastrous 2022.

In 2023, Strickland has bounced back with big wins over Nassourdine Imavov and Abus Magomedov to cement himself as a top-five UFC middleweight.

Despite being way down the list of potential challengers for Adesanya, he got the call to fill in when number one contender Dricus du Plessis revealed he could not compete at UFC 293.

Strickland is just days away from potentially becoming a champion in MMA’s premier promotion, but he’ll have to spring a monumental upset against ‘Stylebender’ to make his dream come true.




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