Sean Strickland doesn’t hesitate when it comes to making off-color comments, whether it’s critiquing his own performance, owning up to his love for adult films or sharing some of his darker aspirations in the cage.
Strickland earned his fifth consecutive win in the UFC on ESPN 28 headliner, taking a clear-cut decision over Uriah Hall at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday night. In the process, Strickland set a middleweight record with 186 significant strikes landed. It’s a milestone that doesn’t impress the 30-year-old Team Quest member.
“I need to learn how to hit harder,” Strickland said at the post-fight press conference. “I kind of hit like a pansy. I kind of sucked. They’re like, ‘You know you won the middleweight striking record.’ I’m like, ‘What does that mean? That means I can’t hit that hard.'”
Despite his recent run of success, Strickland isn’t dwelling on thoughts of climbing to the top of the middleweight division. He’s more interested in the financial rewards that accompany a prizefighting career.
“It is what it is,” Strickland said. “I’ve been training for so long. There’s always going to be another killer. It is what it is. I’ll fight somebody again in the next few months. I might win. I might get knocked out. I just like making money. If I go somewhere with it, great, if not. What did Derrick Lewis say? What was his last quote about if you let me run the division, you guys should all retire? I love Derrick Lewis. He’s the man. I’m just happy to be here.”
Though Strickland has a ways to go before he reaches a certain level of stardom, don’t expect him to get caught up in the trappings of fame if he reaches that point. He points to his Saturday opponent as a prime example of how the media can manufacture a star and then discard them in a relatively short period of time.
“You should never enjoy fame because it’s fake. It’s f--ing fake. There was a point where Uriah Hall was in every interview, every media [member was saying] ‘Uriah Hall!’ And now it’s like he’s on the twilight of his career, he’s getting older. It’s like it’s just bulls--t. I like you guys all, but it’s all bulls--t. You guys know this.”
Strickland also admits that he doesn’t follow the sport much as a fan, so picking an upcoming opponent might prove to be a little bit difficult.
“I know like two fighters in the division,” Strickland said. “Brad Tavares because we train together and Israel Adesanya. I don’t really watch fights. I just like to do it.”
That was far from the only quotable material put forth by Strickland. In his Octagon interview, Strickland claimed that he’d “probably end up cooking meth in a trailer” if it weren’t for the UFC before later admitting that he’s never used drugs. Additionally, Strickland professed a love for pornography during Saturday’s post-fight press conference. The comments that might raise the most eyebrows, however, came when Strickland jokingly shared his aspirations in the cage toward the end of the presser.
“If you like to f---ing hurt people, you’re in the right sport,” Strickland said. “I would love nothing more than to kill somebody in the ring. Nothing more. It would make me super happy.
“I would own that s--t, too. I don’t know if it would make me liable, I might have to say I’m sorry if the cops came, but I would own that s--t. Own it. Be a psychopath, it’s f---ng fun!”
While those remarks appeared to be tongue-in-cheek, it’s his willingness to speak in such a manner that makes it unlikely that he’ll receive a strong marketing push from the promotion.
“I’m probably the last person they want as the champion,” Strickland admitted. “‘So Sean what do you think about the UFC?’ I mean it’s cool, they pay me well, it’s cool. I’m the last one they probably want to be the champion.”
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