UFC matchmakers had a few shakes of the Magic 8 Ball and “most likely” continues to pop up for the Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira rematch. “The Last Stylebender” was stopped by “Poatan” in the UFC 281 pay-per-view (PPV) main event last weekend in New York but has done enough as middleweight champion to warrant an immediate do-over.
No. 7-ranked middleweight contender Sean Strickland is NOT happy about it.
“I mean, here’s the thing, it’s not right,” Strickland told The Schmo. “He shouldn’t have an immediate rematch. You should give the next guy in line a shot. But (expletive) UFC does what UFC does. I mean, it’s all about money, bro, and they look at that as Izzy is the most marketable to fight. But yeah, it’s not right and he shouldn’t get a rematch.”
Strickland was stopped by Pereira on the UFC 276 PPV main card back in July.
Adesanya cleaned out the middleweight division before falling to Pereira at UFC 281 so there are no top contenders with a better case than the former champion. As for Robert Whittaker, who also held gold at 185 pounds, he fights Brazilian bruiser Paulo Costa at UFC 284 next Feb. in Perth, while Strickland battles Jared Cannonier early next month.
No. 4-ranked Marvin Vettori remains unbooked.