5 Things You Might Not Know about Sean Strickland

By Brian Knapp Jul 29, 2021

Sean Strickland’s knocks have grown louder and louder as he stands at the doorway to contention in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s middleweight division.

The 30-year-old Californian will square off with “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 17 finalist Uriah Hall in the UFC on ESPN 28 main event this Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Strickland has rattled off four straight victories—his longest such streak since he joined the UFC roster as an undefeated prospect in 2014. He last appeared at UFC on ESPN 23, where he took a three-round unanimous decision from Krzysztof Jotko on May 1.

Ahead of Strickland’s headlining assignment opposite Hall, here are five things you might not know about him:

1. He grew up in the cage.

Strickland made his professional mixed martial arts debut at the age of 17 on March 22, 2008, when he submitted Tyler Pottett with a rear-naked choke in the second round of their King of the Cage “Protege” pairing at the Avi Resort and Casino in Laughlin, Nevada. He went on to win all six of his fights as a teenager.

2. His star burned brightly on the regional scene.

“Tarzan” won his first 13 pro bouts in the King of the Cage and Long Beach Fight Night organizations before signing with the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2014. Strickland became the eighth man to capture the KOTC middleweight crown, following in the footsteps of Chris Brennan, Dean Lister, Joey Villasenor, Billy Ayash, Keith Barry, Brandon Hunt and Brad Burrick. He held the title from April 26, 2012 to March 3, 2014.

3. His offensive skills are undeniably potent.

Strickland carries a hearty 61% finish rate. He has delivered 14 of his 23 career victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission, nine of them inside one round. His list of victims includes Brendan Allen, Nordine Taleb, Alex Garcia and Bubba McDaniel.

4. He identified where to hang his hat.

The California native has never lost as a middleweight, with all three of his losses having taken place at 170 pounds. Strickland dropped a unanimous decision to Santiago Ponzinibbio at UFC Fight Night 61 on Feb. 22, 2015, wound up on the wrong side of a unanimous verdict against Kamaru Usman on April 8, 2017 and succumbed to a spinning wheel kick and follow-up punches from Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos on May 12, 2018.

5. His talents have taken him all over the globe.

Though Strickland has spent the majority of his career in the United States, he has fought on five different continents: North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
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