Conor McGregor insists 'spar only' method helped Sean Strickland win

Conor McGregor credits Sean Strickland’s ‘spar only’ training method for pulling off one of UFC’s greatest ever upsets after shock unanimous decision win over Israel Adesanya

  • Sean Strickland beat reigning UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya 
  • The American beat Adesanya in one of the UFC’s greatest upsets in its history 
  • Former champion Conor McGregor has admitted Strickland’s training helped  

Conor McGregor has insisted Sean Strickland’s training methods helped him beat Israel Adesanya in one of MMA’s greatest ever upsets. 

Strickland beat the reigning middleweight champion by unanimous decision, with the judges scoring the contest 49-46 after he rocked Adesanya in the first round. 

The American came into the fight as a massive underdog, replacing the injured South African Dricus du Plessis at late notice. 

Former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion McGregor said that Strickland’s use of ‘spar only’ training was the reason for the upset. 

Sean Strickland pulled off one of the UFC’s greatest ever upsets by beating Israel Adesanya

Former UFC champion Conor McGregor weighed in on one of the UFC’s biggest upsets ever

McGregor took to social media platform X to react to Strickland’s win and emphasise the incredible nature of MMA. 

He tweeted: ‘The ‘spar only’ method crowns the new UFC middleweight world champion.

‘Well done Sean. Unlucky Izzy. Two quality operators as well as complete opposite characters facing off, where else would you get it. Incredible!

‘What a sport. What a company! UFC is King.’

Both McGregor and Strickland are known for their love of sparring as a method to prepare for the octagon. 

The new 185lb king often posts footage of him sparring, and recently knocked a training partner out, leading to Adesanya branding him ‘a rotten apple’ ahead of their clash at UFC 293.

McGregor is busy preparing for his comeback fight with Michael Chandler, after breaking his leg in his trilogy bout with Dustin Poirier. 

The Irishman has repeatedly claimed his fight will headline UFC 296, but the date for the contest is still yet to be officially decided. 

UFC president Dana White thinks it’s more likely McGregor will return in 2024 as he still needs to resolve an issue with the US Anti-Doping Agency.

Strickland was overcome with emotion after his win by unanimous decision over Adesanya

Strickland handed Adesanya his third loss of his career after the pair went the distance

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