Sean Strickland pulls off a stunning upset against Israel Adesanya, capturing the middleweight title in an intense UFC free fight.

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The 2024 pay-per-view schedule will open with Sean Strickland defending his middleweight title for the first time at UFC 297, a reign that was made possible with one of the biggest upsets of the past year.

Strickland (28-5 MMA, 15-5 UFC), who meets Dricus Du Plessis (20-2 MMA, 6-0 UFC) in the Jan. 20 main event at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, captured the 185-pound belt with a stunning domination of Israel Adesanya at UFC 293 in September.

Entering the fight as a giant underdog with minimal expectations, Strickland put on a near masterclass over the course of five rounds. He dropped two-time champ Adesanya in the first round, then used a methodical game plan of pressure and sharp defense to win a convincing unanimous decision and leave Australia with UFC gold.

Ahead of his first attempted defense of the strap against Du Plessis, the UFC has released the full fight video between Strickland and Adesanya, which you can watch above.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 297.

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