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Sean Strickland out of October’s clash against Jared Cannonier

After Dana White's Contender Series 52 at the UFC Apex on Tuesday, the middleweight contender Sean Strickland made a decision to withdraw from his Oct. 15 main event matchup against Jared Cannonier. White said there would be no replacement and the fight had been completely abandoned. Strickland has been posting pictures and videos of the infection all week, which has raised concerns that the fight could not go as planned. To fix the damage, Strickland will now require surgery. The 31-year-old aimed to recover from being knocked out by Alex Pereira in the first round at UFC 276 in July.

Strickland claims that during practice, he cut himself on a sparring partner's tooth, which resulted in an injury. Strickland announced Tuesday that he will need surgery because the incision was infected.

Dana White said in his press conference,

“Yeah, it does (effect the upcoming fight). He’s out,” White told the reporters Tuesday. “We had matchmaking today and that was when I found out there was something wrong with him. … I think we just scrapped the fight.”

This will come as a blow to Strickland as he intended to get right back in the title picture if he had won against Cannonier. Strickland suffered a terrible defeat when he was knocked out in the first round by Alex Pereira at UFC 276 in July, but it doesn't always mean he regressed, according to his manager Tim Simpson of Paradigm Sports. Simpson was positive that Strickland was one win away from the next title shot even after a devastating loss. He recently said on account of his fighter’s defense,

“Yeah, 100 percent,” Simpson recently told a reporter from MMA Junkie “Because if… Israel goes and beats Alex, Sean goes and beats Jared (Cannonier), and then also Jack Hermansson has a big fight in December as well. Jack and Sean obviously just fought. Out of those guys in the top five, top 10, again speaking of Izzy wanting to fight everyone of his era, Jack and Sean are two he hasn’t fought yet. They are guys who are credible fighters, top five guys. Both of those guys are there for an opportunity, too. Both of them deserve a title shot and I’m sure both of them will.”

This won’t be possible as Strickland withdrew from the fight and now he must wait and climb the ladder once again to get to the title shot. Only if he had taken Alex Pereira seriously would he have his name up on the boards at Madison Square Garden where Israel Adesanya will face Pereira.

Prior to his loss Strickland was on a tear in the division winning six fights in a row where he defeated contenders such as Uriah Hall and Jack Hermansson. Still 31, Strickland should prioritize his recovery and should look to get back in the octagon early next year and establish a win streak which will land him a title shot.

Let us know in the comments if you think that Sean Strickland will ever become the UFC Middleweight Champion of the world.


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