Las Vegas, NV – When you step into an opportunity to shock the world, and then deliver, it’s something to behold and UFC CEO Dana White spoke on the new middleweight champion Sean Strickland’s victory at UFC 293.
“Listen it is what it is. We obviously put him in that position and he went in and delivered, and won the fight, and he’s the champ now,” White told reporters including Cageside Press at the post-fight press conference for Dana White’s Contender Series.
“You know what you’re getting when you get him. This is no surprise, no shock, good for him.”
White mentioned that during the fight he could see signs that Strickland was tuned in to the fight against Israel Adesanya.
“You could tell that night, after that first round, he would go back to his corner and maybe listen to his corner for 15 seconds and that was it. He was up and ready to go. He felt he was going to win that night,” he said.
“Two weeks before that we were in Boston and I asked the media, there were 70 media members at the press conference, how many people thought that was going to be the outcome and one guy raised his hand out of 70 media. If I had done that in Australia nobody would raise their hand and if they did they’d be lying. So I think that going into that fight Strickland knew he was a huge underdog in that fight and I think that him winning the title was super emotional for him. Once he got time to get back and let it sink in and he showed up to the press conference he was Sean Strickland again.”
In Strickland’s post-fight interview fans got to see a side of him that most have never seen before in front of the cameras. The new champion realizing that he pulled off the impossible.
“No matter how crazy he talks and all the things that he says, all the hard work and dedication that he put into this sport, he reached it that night. He did what nobody thought he could do,” said White.
“We all saw a side of him that we’ve never seen before. It was cool.”
Following UFC 293 White had said that the rematch between Strickland and Adesanya made sense, but he stopped short of confirming that as the next fight. The UFC CEO cleared up what he meant that night.
“Never once did I say ‘yes we’re going to f*cking do this rematch’. I said rematch, you know, we’ll see what happens. There’s obviously lots of options out there and we’ll see what happens, but yes I’m still not opposed to an Israel rematch,” he said.
“We’ll see how it goes.”
Watch the entire press conference with UFC CEO Dana White above.