UFC: Israel Adesanya loses middleweight title to Strickland in shock defeat

Sean Strickland pulled off a big upset on Saturday as he defeated Israel Adesanya to win the middleweight title in Sydney, Australia.

The 32-year-old combined constant forward movement with solid defence and clinical output at UFC 293.

In doing so, the American beat Adesanya 49-46 on all three scorecards.

As early as the first round, Strickland dropped the Nigerian-New Zealander with a picture-perfect right cross.

The punch sent Adesanya spinning to the canvas before seeking a finish.

Strickland could not quite find the knockout blow, however, as Adesanya survived to the buzzer.

The ensuing rounds were close but Strickland always seemed to be a step ahead of Adesanya, who congratulated his tearful conqueror after the result was confirmed.