Sean Strickland became the new middleweight champion on Saturday night by beating Israel Adesanya by unanimous decision in the main event of UFC 293 in Sydney.
In a huge shock from the man ranked fifth in the middleweight division, the cards read 49-46, 49-46, 49-46 in favour of Strickland (28-5-0), who has won three consecutive UFC bouts and nine of his last 11. Adesanya (24-3-0) has lost two of his last three fights.
Strickland landed 137 strikes compared to Adesanya’s 94 to take the belt.
“Am I dreaming? Am I going to wake up? Somebody hit me,” Strickland said in the Octagon after the biggest fight of his career.
“Oh my God guys. Literally, never in a million years did I thought I would be here
In other action, Alexander Volkov (37-10-0) used an Ezekiel choke to best Tai Tuivasa (15-6-0) in a heavyweight match. In a flyweight battle, Manel Kape (19-6-0) used 77 strikes to the head to topple Felipe dos Santos (7-1-0) by unanimous decision, with the cards reading 30-27, 29-28, 29-28.
Justin Tafa (7-3-0) won his heavyweight bout, and Tyson Pedro (10-4-0) prevailed in a light heavyweight skirmish.