Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping believes Sean Strickland and his head coach Eric Nicsick will try and have their first title defense against Jared Cannonier.
Strickland became the new middleweight champion last weekend as he beat Israel Adesanya in a one-sided fight that shocked many. He even dropped Adesanya in the first round and nearly finished him.
Now, since Strickland has become the new champ, many wondered who his first title defense will be against. There is a chance he rematches Adesanya or fights someone like Dricus Du Plessis or the winner of Paulo Costa vs. Khamzat Chimaev.
Bisping expects Strickland vs. Cannonier 2 next
However, Bisping expects Nicksick and Strickland to push for a rematch with Jared Cannonier for his first title defense.
“Don’t take this the wrong way if you hear this Mr. Nicksick. It seems like they are trying to pick him because I don’t know, it was a split decision and a lot of people thought Sean Strickland won that fight,” Bisping said on his YouTube channel. “Khamzat Chimaev is an absolute monster, Dricus Du Plessis is an absolute monster, and you never know. That might be the easiest fight, that sounds insulting to Jared Cannonier, I’m not being insulting. What I’m saying is, they know they had a really close fight. But, anyway, that’s an if, but, what if, maybes all over the place.”
Sean Strickland and Jared Cannonier fought last December and it was ‘The Killa Gorilla’ who won a split decision in a scrap many thought the now middleweight champ should have won.
But, given the fact that Canonier has the win over Strickland, he took to Instagram on Thursday and called out the middleweight champ for a rematch. On paper, it does make sense as Cannonier is Strickland’s last loss, so as Bisping says, that will play a role in why Nicksick will push for that fight.