UFC Vegas 66 went down last Saturday night (Dec. 17, 2022) inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, tying a bow on another highly-successful year for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Plenty of fighters were left feeling the post-fight blues, including Alessandro Costa, who had a rude welcome to the Octagon courtesy of Amir Albazi, who knocked him out in round number three (highlights). And Bobby Green, who was knocked out by Drew Dober in an exciting Lightweight scrap (see it here).
But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now a few days removed from the show?
Coming into his headlining fight against Jared Cannonier, Strickland was hoping to erase the memory of the knockout loss his suffered at the hands of current Middleweight king, Alex Pereria, a few months ago. In doing so, the outspoken combatant was also hoping to avoid losing his second straight for the first time in his career.
Mission not accomplished.
After a long and grueling 25-minute battle against one of the hardest-hitting 185-pound fighters in the game who used to compete at Heavyweight, Strickland was left at the mercy of the judges who, let’s face it, haven’t had the best reputation as of late. And much to his dismay, another case of questionable scoring left the mouthy combatant fuming after coming up on the losing end of a split-decision.
“You know you guys, I’m f—ing sore loser,” Strickland said on his social media. “Hat’s off to Jared, but again you have judges that don’t know how to f—ing do their job. If you actually look at the scorecards and you look at the significant strikes, you look at how many times I wobbled him,” he said post-fight.
“And you know, you have people — experts in the field coming up to me — and saying, ‘Yeah, man, I don’t know how you lost that one. You landed way more, the scorecards should say it.’ So anyway, so I’m going to shut the f—k up now and get off my soapbox. Thank you, guys for supporting me. Thank you, UFC. Back to the drawing board, on to the next one. Thank you, guys.”
Naturally, Strickland wasn’t the happiest of campers, but that is the risk of a fight when it goes the distance. It’s not excusing the judges’ incompetence, but as Max Holloway so eloquently puts it, “It is what it is.”
Strickland probably should’ve been the winner, it was that close, but instead he goes home with the first two-fight losing streak of his career, which will force him to dig deeper in his next fight to avoid three straight defeats.
As far as who he should face next, I am feeling a fight against Derek Brunson. Sure, Strickland will likely drop a spot or two in the rankings, and pitting him against the No. 5 fighter in the division could be a tough sell. But Brunson is also coming off a loss to Cannonier, and UFC matchmakers do have a history of booking fighters who lose to the same foe in their most-recent fight against one another.
For complete UFC Vegas 66 results and coverage click here.