Sean Strickland has his sights set on the UFC middleweight title. The outspoken American middleweight returned to action in the main event of UFC Vegas 47 on Saturday night, taking on Norway-based Swede Jack Hermansson, and ultimately winning a split decision to move onto a six-fight streak. In victory, the 30-year-old believes he has earned a crack at the middleweight championship, which will next be on the line when champion Israel Adesanya defends against Robert Whittaker at UFC 271 in Houston, Texas next Saturday. “I would love to get a title shot,” Strickland (25-3) said in his post-fight interview with commentator Michael Bisping. “I’m a company man. I will fight who you put in front of me, but if they have the belt I will be very happy.” 👏 @SStricklandMMA is a company man, but the belt is top of mind! 🙌 #UFCVegas47 pic.twitter.com/oFXPEMA0S4 — UFC (@ufc) February 6, 2022 The 33-year-old Hermansson (22-7), a grappler by trade, began chasing the takedown early in the fight. But Strickland was able to deny all eight of his rival’s attempts to drag the bout to the canvas. On the feet, he was in complete control of the action. He had particular success with his jab, which he used to do damage and to keep Hermansson at range. It was an impressive win, but Strickland was seemingly unsatisfied with his performance. “I was being a pansy,” he said. “I should have stayed in the pocket and thrown. Maybe I let the pressure get to me. I was fighting like a b****. I think I just let the win bonus get the better of me. I should have stayed in the pocket and thrown more.” UFC: Chandler predicts Oliveira vs Gaethje Hermansson, who is back in the loss column after a TKO defeat of Edmen Shahbazyan in 2021, gave Strickland credit for his performance, noting that he had difficulty implementing his strategy against the American. “It was not the kind of fight that I expected,” he said. “I was a little bit thrown off. I couldn’t get my timing and takedowns. “I tensed up and I got a little bit into his game. I’m not happy with my performance.” The spinning wheel kick that started the finishing sequence 😧 #UFCVegas47 pic.twitter.com/4ZXG6mpkEc — ESPN MMA (@espnmma) February 6, 2022 The UFC Vegas 47 event was co-headlined by a middleweight bout between rising American prospects Nick Maximov, 24, and Punahele Soriano, 29. Maximov, a protégé of MMA superstars Nick and Nate Diaz, used his wrestling to capture a split decision victory that is already stirring up debate on social media. “Props to [Soriano], he’s good,” Maximov (8-0) said in his post-fight interview with Bisping. “It was exactly what I expected. He’s a tough Hawaiian. So I’ve got nothing but respect for him. I would have liked to get the finish but it’s all good.” The main card also featured the latest impressive victory from Kazakh welterweight Shavkat Rakhmonov (15-0), who defeated Carlston Harris by first-round knockout with a spinning kick and a volley of follow-up ground-strikes. The 27-year-old has now finished all 15 of his professional wins and seems destined for fights with the UFC’s best welterweights soon.