Boxing superstar Ryan Garcia was one of the many fight fans praising Sean Strickland after he dethroned Israel Adesanya at UFC 293.
The unfancied American dropped ‘Stylebender’ early before outpointing him over five rounds to become the new UFC middleweight champion in Sydney, Australia on Sunday morning.
Garcia was quick to react to what Joe Rogan believes is one of the biggest upsets in the history of MMA by heaping praise on Strickland’s boxing skills.
“Sean Strickland just beat Izzy,” he tweeted after UFC 293.
“Best defensive I seen In a UFC fight.”
“CRAZY BIGGEST UPSET.”
Strickland recently adopted a fighting stance similar to the Philly Shell. The style is often associated with boxing legend Floyd Mayweather who is known for his impregnable defence.
‘Money’ was never knocked down during his perfect professional career which he ended with a 50-0 record following his tenth-round TKO win over UFC icon Conor McGregor in 2017.
After watching Strickland put on a clinic against arguably the greatest middleweight in UFC history, MMA fans took to social media to point out the similarities between him and Mayweather.
One person tweeted: “Sean Strickland just turned into Floyd Mayweather for 5 rounds.”
Another wrote: “Sean Strickland just did something that I’m not sure we have ever seen before Beating Izzy is one thing but looking like prime Mayweather and dominating one of the best stand up fighters ever for 5 straight rounds is truly insane.”
Someone else added: “Strickland looked like f****** Mayweather out there hiding behind his shoulder and rolling off punches lmao. 100+ missed punches by Izzy who’s known to be a pretty damn good striker.”
A fourth person asked: “How did Strickland make the Mayweather defense work in MMA?????”
MMA and boxing broadcaster Adam Catterall made the comparison too, writing: “Of all the outcomes, Sean Strickland strutting about Sydney like prime money Mayweather is not what I foresaw! Wow.”
UFC president Dana White is keen to book a rematch between Strickland and Adesanya, but number one middleweight contender Dricus du Plessis is waiting in the wings for a title shot.
The new champion is happy to face all challengers and fans will just be excited to his MMA’s Mayweather defend his belt early in 2024.