Israel Adesanya breaks silence on shock Sean Strickland loss and reveals rematch with UFC rival is not priority

ISRAEL ADESANYA has broken his silence on his shock defeat to Sean Strickland – but he’s refusing to make any excuses for his second dethroning as middleweight champ.

The Last Stylebender’s second reign as 185lbs king came to a stunning end at the hands of the American at UFC 293 earlier this month.

EPAIsrael Adesanya locked horns with Sean Stickland at UFC 293[/caption]

EPAThe Last Stylebender suffered a shock decision defeat to the American[/caption]

GETTYAdesanya admits ‘he wasn’t able to adjust’ to Strickland’s style[/caption]

Adesanya, 34, looked flat and slow as he was marched down for five rounds on his way to suffering a unanimous decision defeat.

But he’s refusing to take away from Strickland’s career-best performance, saying on his YouTube channel: “He just never let me get into my rhythm at all.

“Just wasn’t able to get my rhythm because of his pressure.

“He was right there constantly. And whenever I was setting him up, because he’s right there, his coach would help him.

“Good game plan from their end, but also from me, I wasn’t able to adjust on the fly.”

UFC president Dana White was seemingly keen on an immediate rematch between the pair buts since changed his stance.

Fan favourite Adesanya isn’t fussed about reclaiming the title straight away, insisting: “The belt’s never mattered to me.

“I mean, it does obviously, but how many times have I said it’s just a fancy tiara that brings more money and this and that, rah, rah, rah.

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“That belt’s just a nice accessory. I’ve already got belts, I have many belts.

“I’m just going to do it again, just for fun. Just for fun.”

Adesanya’s precision striking and timing were uncharacteristically off and allowed Strickland to walk him down while avoiding the shots which came his way.

But he’s confident that slight adjustments to his tactics will see him get the job done second time around.

He said: “[It] Like a bad dream. One of those where you, not even a nightmare.

“A nightmare is like, ‘Oh s**t. F**k.’ A nightmare, you’re scared. I was just like, you try to hit the guy, and it just felt like noodle arms.

“Like, ‘What the f**k.’ It just felt like a bad dream. Feeling it and watching it were completely different.

“I called Eugene [Bareman] right after and we talked and the same thing. We’re quietly confident.”

EPAIsrael Adesanya believes he can bet the better of Sean Strickland in a rematch[/caption]