Sean Strickland earned the eleventh knockout of his career on Saturday when he defeated Abus Magomedov in the second round at UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas.
The TKO came after 4 minutes and 20 seconds. Referee Mark Smith stopped the middleweight bout after Strickland (27-5) fired a barrage of punches at the prone Magomedov (25-5-1). The finish, which was Strickland’s first since 2020, marked the culmination of the UFC event at the Apex.
Ranked No. 7 at the UFC middleweight division, Strickland survived a poor opening round against his Russian opponent. According to UFC Stats, he was defeated 32-11 in the first round before dominating in the second frame.
“We ended up having five laps of fun,” said Strickland. “I’m not slowing down and I’m not stopping. If you want a good first lap, bring it with you. We still have that.” [Rounds] 2, 3, 4 and 5.”
Magomedov seemed strong early on in his first UFC main event, but quickly waned as Strickland’s volume and accuracy increased in the second round. Strickland landed a total of 70 strikes in the frame, the most he landed in one round during his UFC career.
Strickland has won back-to-back fights after losing two high-profile fights to Alex Pereira and Jared Cannonier in 2022. This was a risky fight for him as Magomedov is very experienced outside of the UFC but has yet to fully establish names for himself in the octagon.
Immediately after the win, Strickland was clamoring for a title shot. He has never fought for a UFC championship.
“The title, man. I want the title,” said Strickland.
Reigning middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is expected to defend his belt in September against the winner of a July 8 bout between Robert Whittaker and Dricus Du Plessis.