Fighter Profile: Sean Strickland

Photo courtesy of Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

One of the Most polarizing fighters in the UFC is Sean Strickland. Strickland holds an impressive 25-3 record with one of those losses coming to rising Champion Kamaru Usman. Strickland’s past might explain why he baffles UFC fans and MMA media as a whole. I think Strickland is a great fighter who could find himself across the cage from the Middleweight Champ in the near future.

Strickland was born February 27, 1991 in New Bern, North Carolina. Strickland had a rough time in his early years as his Father was Physically and Mentally abusive. This Caused Strickland to act out in school and he would end up getting kicked out of school. He’d end up getting kicked out of many more schools after that. Strickland admits as a youth he was a “Neo-Nazi” but due to ongoing interactions with people of different races, young Strickland would soon abandon these viewpoints after interacting with people of other races. Strickland began training MMA at age 14 and started fighting professionally at 16. Strickland is a striker but also holds a Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Strickland made his professional debut in March of 2008 against Tyler Pottett for The King of The Cage promotion. He’d win the bout by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke.) Strickland would then face off against Brandon Ellsworth he’d win the bout with a first round TKO (Punches.) Strickland would then face off against William Wheeler winning via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) in the first round. George Interiano would be next up for a young Strickland winning the three round contest by Unanimous Decision. Strickland would win his next three fights before facing off against Brandon Hunt for the KOTC Middleweight Championship. Strickland would win the belt by TKO and would defend the belt five times with a perfect 13-0 record. Strickland would soon get the call to fight in the UFC. 

Strickland would make his UFC debut at UFC 171 in March of 2014 when he faced off against Bubba McDaniel. Strick would win the bout via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke.) Strickland would then go on to face Luke Barnatt he’d win this bout by Split Decision. He’d then face Santiago Ponzinibbio and would lose the three round contest by Unanimous Decision marking the first loss of his UFC and his whole career as a whole. He’d then win his next three contests against Igor Araújo, Alex Garcia, and Tom Breese. He’d then take the second loss of his career against Usman, before getting back into the win column against Court McGee. He’d then lose another contest to Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos.

Strickland has won his last six contests and we think he should be in a Middleweight title fight very soon. 

Fighter Profile: Derek Brunson

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Derek Brunson will return to the UFC Octagon on Saturday night when he faces Jared Cannonier at UFC 271. Brunson is riding a five fight win streak and  is currently ranked 4th in the UFC Middleweight division. This fight is a title eliminator and the winner of Cannonier vs. Brunson will likely fight the winner of Israel Adesanya vs. Robert Whittaker which is going down the same night.

Derek Brunson was born January 4, 1984 in Wilmington, NC. In High School Brunson wrestled at John T. Hoggard High School in Wilmington  under coach Dan Willis. Brunson earned himself a spot wrestling at University of North Carolina at Pembroke on scholarship. Brunson was a 3-time NCAA Division II All-American wrestler. He finished college with a 6-7 record in NCAA Division II Championships Matches. After Brunson finished college he decided to focus on training and competing in MMA.

Brunson made his Amature MMA debut in January of 2010 against Steve Bontatibus. Brunson would win by TKO (Punches.) He’d then go on to face Shawn Tavares again winning by TKO (Punches.) After two wins as an amatuer Brunson decided to go pro. He made his pro debut against John Bryant in May of 2010 winning by Submission (Rear Naked Choke.) Chris McNally was next for Brunson; he would beat him by KO (Punches.) He’d win his next fight against Edward Jackson by Knockout (Punches) He’d win six of his next eight fights including a few fights with Strikeforce. Brunson Would then get the call to fight in the UFC.

Brunson made his UFC debut in December 2012 at UFC 155 where he replaced an injured Karlos Vemola against Chris Leben. Brunson would win his debut by Unanimous decision. He’d then go on to face Brian Houston winning by Submission (Rear-naked Choke.) He’d then fight Yoel Romero ultimately losing by TKO (Punches and Elbows.) Brunson would win his next five fights and then would face the biggest challenge of his career against Robert Whittaker losing byTKO (head kick and punches.) He’d then face ‘The Spider’ Anderson Silva losing by unanimous decision. Brunson would then win two and a row against Dan Kelly and Lyoto Machida before dropping two in a row to Ronaldo Souza and Israel Adesanya. He is now riding a five fight win streak.

We hope Derek Brunson has a successful return to the UFC Octagon on Saturday night when he faces Jared Cannonier at UFC 271.

FIGHTER PROFILE: Israel Adesanya

Israel Adesanya insists Jon Jones fight isn't dead after UFC 259 loss

Israel Adesanya is one of the most electric MMA Fighters in the world. Not only is he entertaining to watch but he’s only been beaten in the Cage once in his career. Considering he has had 22 professional fights against names like Anderson Silva, Robert Whittaker, and Marvin Vettori. Adesanya is amazing on his feet, along with being an amazing Mixed Martial artist Adesanya was a spectacular kickboxer with a record of 23-5. 

Israel Mobolaji Temitayo Odunayo Oluwafemi Owolabi Adesanya was born on July 22, 1989 in Lagos, Nigeria. Adesanya is the oldest of five children he started his Martial Arts Journey when he was young by joining the Taekwondo club at his school, but was taken out by his mother after he sustained an injury. Adesanya did not compete in sports and was more interested in reading Mangas and watching Anime a hobby he still loves to this day, and he recently did voiceover work for an english dub of Netflix’s anime ‘Baki Hanma.’’  Adesanya would get bullied for this love of anime and credits this with taking on Martial Arts later in life.

Adesanya made his Professional MMA debut in March of 2012 when he faced James Griffiths for the Supremacy Fighting Championship promotion. He secured the victory by way of TKO. Adesanya would then go on to face John Vake for the Shuriken MMA promotion again he’d win by TKO (Punches.) He’d then go on to face Kenan Song where his kickboxing prowess would be on display winning by TKO (Head Kick.) He’d win his next eight fights by KO or TKO and this was enough to get the attention of the UFC brass.

Adesanya would make his UFC debut in February of 2018 when he faced Rob Wilkinson, he’d win by TKO (knees and punches.) Adesanya would win the performance of the night, an impressive performance for the young striker. He’d then face Marvin Vettori and Brad Tavares winning both fights by decision. He’d go on to beat Derek Brunson and former Middleweight champion, Anderson Silva. This would lead Adesanya to fight Kelvin Gastelum for the interim title which he’d win. Adesanya would then face Robert Whittaker where he’d win and unify the UFC Middleweight Championship belt. He’d make two successful title defenses before moving up to face then Light Heavyweight Champion Jan Błachowicz he’d lose by Unanimous decision. In his next fight he’d defend his Middleweight belt against Marvin Vettori.

Adesanya is a fan favorite and his amazing work on his feet is truly spectacular. It is rumored he will face Robert Whittaker at UFC 271 in February. It’ll be fun to see the pair run it back for the belt again!