Sean Strickland reveals how he ended up with a questionable UFC main event booking

Sean Strickland explains how his upcoming fight came to frutition as he continues to call out the division's reigning champion.

By: Milan Ordoñez | 3 months ago

When Sean Strickland drew unranked fighter Abus Magomedov as his next opponent, a few questions were raised. Strickland, after all, was ranked number seven at middleweight and is coming off a win in his light heavyweight debut in January. Magomedov has one UFC win and is fairly unknown coming into this UFC main event.

UFC president Dana White defended the booking, saying it was the company’s way of challenging its fighters. During this week’s media day, Sean Strickland gave his side of the story. 

Sean Strickland explains UFC Vegas 76 booking

As he told the media in another profanity-laced yet quote goldmine of a scrum, Sean Strickland had a few options laid out: either wait more than half a year or take whatever’s offered to him. 

“I had no idea who the f–k he was,” Strickland said of Magomedov (transcript by MMA Junkie). “So I’ve been hounding the UFC to fight, I even offered to do 205, but Mick (Maynard) didn’t want me to f–k up the rankings because there are a lot of 205ers I’d f–k up. 

“So I had a conversation with Mick, and he pretty much offered me a couple of ranked guys. I said yes to them, they said no.

“So I had a choice: I either wait eight f–ng months or I f–ng fight. The money was right and here we are. I mean, we all fight for money. If the dollar is right, I will f–ng do it. We came to good terms and good pay, and here we are fighting Abus.”

The 32-year-old Magomedov made his Octagon debut at UFC Paris last September against Dustin Stoltfus. He won via knockout inside 19 seconds to improve to a record of 25-4-1. 

Sean Strickland continues to campaign for Adesanya fight 

Despite the opponent in front of him at the moment, Sean Strickland also has reigning champion Israel Adesanya in his sights. As he said in an interview in early June, he should be next in line with a win over Magomedov. 

“If this fight goes my way, it 100 percent should be in the cards,” Strickland said about a fight against Adesanya. “I f–-ng had a close decision with f–ng – what the f–k was that guy’s name? Jared Cannonier, you knocked some brain cells out of me. Solid guy. 

Thought I won on the scorecards, but it is what it is. I truly believe I should be the one fighting Izzy, but I lost fair and square. I’ll pay my tenants. I’ll get some Ws, but yeah, that one needs to happen.”

During the same scrum, Sean Strickland continues to push for a fight against “The Last Stylebender” or whom he referred to as “Izzy the Chinese.”

“It’s kind of embarrassing that Dricus gets a potential shot,” Strickland said (quotes by MMA Mania). “But ‘Izzy’ the Chinese — true Chinese — they probably want to bring a real African back to the championship. 

“Can you guys believe that shit? Is that real when he says look at the color of my skin? Did that really happen? Is that real? This f—king clown, this f—king loser, bro. 

“They need to revoke your black card, bro. I don’t even look at you like a black man. I look at you like the f—king Chinese.”

For a bit of context, Sean Strickland’s comments are likely connected with a promotional video that Adesanya shot years ago. Here, he referred to himself as “The Black Dragon” when he spent a few years of his kickboxing career in China. 

“Black outside, China inside. I am Chinese,” Adesanya said in the video

Sean Strickland and Abus Magomedov will headline UFC Vegas 76, which takes place at the APEX. Also on the card is the return of former interim title contender Kevin Lee, who faces Rinat Fakhretdinov to close out the prelims.

Share this story

About the author
Milan Ordoñez
Milan Ordoñez

Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments.

More from the author

Bloody Elbow Podcast
Related Stories