UFC middleweight Sean Strickland has so far built a reputation for being a bit of an unhinged wild man, particularly outside the UFC cage. Whether it’s the stuff he says in interviews or the controversies he gets himself in, you can say that he’s cut from a different cloth.
The number seven-ranked Strickland is slated to face Jack Hermansson this weekend for his first fight in 2022. And now that he’s gotten a bit of a boost in terms of name-value, “Tarzan” feels more at liberty with his words and actions.
“I’m getting to a point where I can say shit and not get cut from the UFC. So before, it’s like, ‘Oh, man, that wasn’t good.’ I couldn’t say shit ‘cause Dana White would be like, ‘Hey, go f—k that white trash motherf—r. Get him out of here,” Strickland told reporters on Wednesday’s media day.
“But now, since I’m getting a little bit more, like, fan-based, people want to watch me fight, I could say a lot more offensive shit. So it’s nice.
“Every coach or manager I’ve ever had were like, ‘Sean, shut up. They’re not gonna sign you. Shut up, they don’t want that, they want an image.’ And then, like, now, I just could be the white trash motherf—r that I am.”
With the way he’s wired, Strickland will have his fair share of admirers and haters. One of those among the latter is fellow 185-pounder Kevin Holland, who already expressed his dislike towards Strickland in a previous ESPN interview.
Strickland also gave his side of the story of that “beef.”
“I think I told him I could rape him in prison, one day, and it bothered him. But I’m just stating the facts, dude. I’m just stating the f—ng facts. If me and you were in a jail cell together and I wanted to, I could take that ass,” he said.
“He started talking shit to me on Instagram. I think I one-upped him by saying that, which I don’t think is a one up, I’m telling you some really f—ked up things. So I see him at the P.I. the other day, and he’s like popped out his f—ng chest, like, trying to fight me. And I’m like, ‘Kevin Holland, bro. You have my Instagram. We can’t fight here. You gotta f—ng call me, we’ll go to this f—ng parking lot, and we’ll do the f—ng man dance.’
“The thing with Kevin Holland, he doesn’t know how to embrace his feelings. He doesn’t know how to feel. He’s scared of his feelings.
“Kevin Holland, you call me, dude. We could talk about your feelings. I got you. Don’t be scared.”
For now, Strickland has his hands full with the Hermansson fight this Saturday at the APEX.
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