Ahead of their UFC 276 middleweight clash, Sean Strickland counseled he may abandon his striking tendencies in opposition to Alex Pereira, a very accomplished kickboxer. Strickland did not follow via on that suggested game plan and paid a high price, suffering a first-round knockout.
Strickland struck to his well-known style, standing tall and stiff and trying to walk forward. That was ill-advised in opposition to a striker the capability of Pereira. The Brazilian just waited patiently while operating kicks to the body and lead leg of Strickland.
Strickland never shifted from his approach, continuing to walk forward into a buzz saw of a striker. As the kicks to Strickland’s calf looked to be taking a toll, Pereira engaged his hands, touchdown a big left hook that sent Strickland to the canvas. As Strickland attempted to stand back to his feet, he ate another right hand and crashed to the canvas a second time, this time needing the referee to step in and make contact with a halt to the movement.
Pereira is now in the mix for a potential title shot. He has two wins over UFC middleweight king Israel Adesanya in the kickboxing ring, including a brutal knockout.