When is Sean Strickland's next fight?

After pulling off one of the biggest upsets in MMA history at UFC 293, what could be next for newly crowned UFC middleweight champion, Sean Strickland?
Sep 9, 2023; Sydney, NSW, AUSTRALIA; Sean Strickland speaks at a press conference after defeating
Sep 9, 2023; Sydney, NSW, AUSTRALIA; Sean Strickland speaks at a press conference after defeating / Jasmin Frank-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Strickland shocked the combat sports world over the weekend, dethroning former UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, throughout five rounds on his way to a decisive unanimous decision victory. Now many are wondering what's next for Strickland in the aftermath of such a monumental upset and if we will see Adesanya granted yet another immediate rematch.

While many might believe that Adesanya doesn't deserve an instant shot at redemption, UFC president, Dana White, thinks otherwise. He revealed the promotion's plans to book a second fight between Strickland and Adesanya during the UFC 293 post-fight press conference, with the following response.

“I think you do the rematch, absolutely,” White said. “The rematch is interesting. That could be the thing, too. When you think about you’re going into the Pereira fight, such a big fight, and you’ve been in there with this guy so many times, and then you overlook Strickland. You come in and I don’t know. I don’t know the answers to these questions, but Israel does, and I’m looking forward to hearing it.”

Now the bigger question seems to be, when and where we will see the two middleweight rivals square off once again.

Potential dates of when we could see Sean Strickland back inside the Octagon

The UFC currently has no events officially added to its 2024 schedule, but I think it's pretty safe to assume that Strickland's next appearance will come in the first quarter of the new year. As White's comments previously eluded to, it is probably a good bet that his next opponent will also be Adesanya.

In that case, it wouldn't surprise me to see a Strickland-Adesanya rematch earn top billing at the promotion's much-anticipated milestone UFC 300 event. Especially given that this is something the former champ has requested already, even suggesting he could co-headline the event with his teammate and current featherweight king, Alexander Volkanovski.

Regardless of when he may return, it's more and more likely looking as if Strickland's first title defense will undoubtedly be a rematch against Adesanya.

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