Sean Strickland joins Conor McGregor, Jared Cannonier in elite UFC record

Before UFC Vegas 67, Sean Strickland was already making headlines for his rare feat of headlining successive UFC events. The mercurial UFC middleweight contender bounced back from two consecutive defeats with a solid unanimous decision victory over Nassourdine Imavov.

The American closed out a spectacular 2022 for the UFC and kickstarted the new year, stepping in as a last-minute replacement for the injured Kelvin Gastelum. With this unanimous decision victory (49-46, 49-46, 48-47) at UFC Vegas, Strickland has now joined Conor McGregor and Jared Cannonier on an elite UFC record list.

Strickland now holds the distinguished honor of having victories in three different weight classes in the UFC, a record also held by UFC star Conor McGregor and ‘Tarzan’s former opponent Jared Cannonier.

Between 2015 and 2018, Sean Strickland competed in the welterweight division, picking victories over the likes of Alex Garcia and Nordine Taleb. UFC Vegas 12 marked the return to the middleweight division for Strickland, who has been competing there ever since.

The main event fight against Nassourdine Imavov marked the light heavyweight debut for Strickland after ‘Tarzan’ stepped in on less than a week’s notice to replace the injured Kelvin Gastelum.

Strickland dominated Imavov for the majority of the fight, with the Frenchman radically fading in the later rounds. The American used his polished boxing skills to stifle Imavov en route to the decision victory.

Sean Strickland claims he was chasing the finish against Nassourdine Imavov

Sean Strickland is widely recognized for his volume striking and durability. His last victory by finish came against Brendan Allen in November 2020.

Despite losing a split decision against Jared Cannonier at UFC Vegas 66, Strickland remains certain that he won the fight and attributes his current situation to “poor judging”. Strickland was also furious that the fight lacked exciting moments and vouched that he didn’t want to be associated with the label of “boring fights”.

Reacting to his performance and the refined approach to chasing the finish in fight , Strickland stated:

“The only reason why this man [Imavov] hit me is because I wanted to finish him… and now maybe I didn’t because of my cowardice, my cardio… but the bottomline is I didn’t finish him. I’m sorry guys. I’m trying to go for those finishes, especially after my last boring fight. I don’t want that to be tagged to my f**king name.”

Watch Sean Strickland’s post-fight interview below:

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