Strickland (28-5 MMA, 15-5 UFC) scored a massive upset win when he dethroned middleweight champion Adesanya (24-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) by unanimous decision in this past Saturday’s UFC 293 main event at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney.
Adesanya’s head coach Eugene Bareman said they’d be ready for a rematch next week, and that Adesanya would need a few minor adjustments to avenge his loss to Strickland. But Nicksick disagrees.
“I don’t really care,” Nicksick told MMA Junkie Radio. “I think from an outsider’s perspective, I think Israel always deserves a rematch just from his history alone and his body of work. I think kind of hearing their thoughts on some minor adjustments and they win that fight, I think it’s a lot more than minor adjustments.
“I think there’s a lot more to be done. But with that being said, I still think Israel ranks up there No. 1, No. 2 best middleweights to ever do it. If he wants to run it back, by all means I think that’s a fight that needs to happen then.”
Dana White said that a rematch between Strickland and Adesanya should be next. While Nicksick doesn’t necessarily disagree, he thinks Aljamain Sterling should then also get an immediate rematch against Sean O’Malley, who dethroned him by second-round knockout to win the bantamweight title at UFC 292.
“I mean, this guy was being talked about as the bantamweight GOAT,” Nicksick said. “Everybody was throwing that around for him and at this level, people are going to have off nights. People are going to have a night where they maybe underperformed.
“It’s so crazy how they get thrown to the wayside like, ‘Oh, this guy wasn’t really this good.’ There’s so many factors that go into an eight-week camp, sometimes even a short-notice fight. There’s a lot of things that go on behind the scenes that we’re not always predicated in knowing and understanding.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 293.