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LAS VEGAS – Saturday night didn’t go well for Sean Strickland.
The UFC middleweight contender was knocked out by former Glory kickboxing champion Alex Pereira on the main card of Saturday’s UFC 276 at the T-Mobile Arena. Strickland (25-4 MMA, 12-4 UFC) was caught by a left hook halfway through Round 1 and then finished by a follow-up right hand from Pereira (6-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC).
Strickland admits the loss stings, but it won’t deter him from moving forward.
“You never want to be someone’s highlight, but that’s the game we play,” Strickland said in a video posted on Instagram. “I tried to stand and bang with one of the best kickboxers. The sh*tty part about it was that during the round, I was like, ‘Man, this is going to be an easy fight. I see everything this guy is throwing. I’m getting the better of the exchanges. I’m going to beat this guy up for three rounds.’ And then halfway through, I got caught.
“So hat’s off to Alex, he’s a f*cking killer. Thank (you) all my coaches, sorry I didn’t get the win. It’s depressing, I’m going to be sad for a while. And fans, thank you for supporting me and on to the next one. It’s time to climb the ladder again.”
With the defeat, Strickland saw his six-fight winning streak cone to an end. His most recent loss prior to UFC 276 came against Elizeu Zaleski in May 2018.
Meanwhile, Pereira solidified a likely, long-awaited third combat sports matchup against middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. The two competed against each other twice in kickboxing – and Pereira won both fights. The first meeting ended in a decision. The rematch, however, was one for the highlight reel when Pereira knocked Adesanya out cold.