Conor McGregor was quick to react to Sean Strickland shocking everyone by becoming the new UFC middleweight champion.
The 32-year-old was a heavy underdog heading into his fight with Israel Adesanya at UFC 293, but he outclassed ‘Stylebender’ over five rounds in Sydney, Australia on Sunday morning
Strickland scored a massive knockdown in round one before landing with the more eye-catching shots over the next 20 minutes to win a unanimous decision.
After all three cageside judges scored the fight 48-46 in favour of the unfancied American, McGregor took to social media to suggest it had something to do with the way Strickland trains.
He tweeted: “The “spar only” method crowns the new UFC middleweight world champion.
“Well done Sean. Unlucky Izzy. Two quality operators as well as complete opposite characters facing off, where else would you get it. Incredible!
“What a sport. What a company! UFC is King.”
Strickland is known for his love of sparring, and it’s gotten him trouble on several occasions as he is known for posting clips from his sessions online.
The new 185lb king once shared footage of him knocking a training partner out cold and it led to Adesanya branding him a ‘rotten apple’ just over a year before their UFC 293 clash.
McGregor is also a fighter who likes to spar as much as he can.
The former dual-weight champion recently shared some rounds with UFC welterweight contender Ian Garry as he continues to prepare for his eagerly anticipated comeback.
‘Notorious’ has been sidelined since July 2021 when he suffered a fractured tibia and fibula during his trilogy fight with Dustin Poirier at UFC 264.
McGregor is now fully fit and determined to return before 2023 is over.
The 35-year-old is booked to face Michael Chandler, but their fight doesn’t have a date despite the fact the MMA’s biggest star has repeatedly claimed they’ll headline UFC 296 on December 16.
UFC president Dana White thinks it’s more likely McGregor will return in 2024 as he still needs to resolve a long-standing issue with the US Anti-Doping Agency [USADA].
Either way, an announcement about McGregor’s next fight is believed to be imminent.