Israel Adesanya: UFC didn’t want Sean Strickland bout due to his personality

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya claimed that the UFC didn't want him to face Sean Strickland next.

By: Ivan DeHaas | 2 months ago

In a recent interview with New Zealand media contingents, Israel Adesanya revealed that the UFC was extremely reluctant to put on the Adesanya vs. Sean Strickland bout for the upcoming UFC 293 event. The middleweight matchup between Adesanya and Strickland is supposed to serve as the title fight for the September 9th card hosted in Sydney, Australia.

MMA: UFC 287 - Pereira vs Adesanya Apr 8, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Israel Adesanya (blue gloves) reacts to defeating Alex Pereira (red gloves) during UFC 287 at Miami-Dade Arena. Miami Miami-Dade Arena Florida USA, EDITORIAL USE ONLY PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xRichxStorryx 20230409_szo_fw1_0300
Israel Adesanya. IMAGO/USA TODAY/ Rich Story

Watch the clip and the full interview below:

UFC concerned about Sean Strickland ’embarrassing the company’

Israel Adesanya and his trainer Eugene Bareman were interviewed at Bareman’s City Kickboxing school and combat sports gym in Auckland, New Zealand by representatives from the Newstalk ZB and Sky Sports news outlets. The first few minutes of the August 15th interview were centered almost entirely around securing the upcoming bout with Strickland.

When asked how much convincing it took for the UFC to clear the title fight with Strickland, Adesanya responded, “A lot. A lot. Like I said, he’s an idiot, and the UFC don’t want him embarrassing the company.”

Sean Strickland is notoriously known in the MMA community for his fiery personality and often obscene language on display in most videos of Strickland online. Last month, for example, Strickland guested on the Joe Rogan Experience and provided his input on a myriad of topics introduced by Rogan, who strategically brought up certain talking points with Sean to induce a series of unhinged responses.

The scathing results included Strickland self-identifying as “white trash”, comparing the U.S. to “communist China”, and ranting to Rogan about women in the workforce while trying to critique the “unholy alliance” between corporations that drives American consumerism. If Izzy’s claim and the UFC’s concerns still don’t make sense, read more on that below:

Israel Adesanya: Strickland ‘should thank me’

Regardless of any inflammatory comments and nonsensical drama, Israel Adesanya made it clear in the interview that he pushed to secure the upcoming bout with Strickland, claiming that it was because of his own efforts that the UFC didn’t call off the title fight.

“That’s all I have to say about that, so he should thank me,” said Adesanya, after voicing the UFC’s concerns. “He should really thank me for actually making them get the fight.”

In the eyes of the UFC, Adesanya sees himself as far more reputable than Strickland. Gesturing to Bareman, his coach, during the interview, Adesanya claimed, “I pushed for it. He knows what happened behind the scenes, and I pushed for it and I’m glad the UFC trusted me to listen to me.”

Adesanya currently sits at 24-2 and holds the title for UFC middleweight champ, the likes of which will be contested in the Strickland v. Adesanya bout headlining UFC 293. Despite thwarting his title in the process of advocating for the Strickland match-up to the UFC, Adesanya let everyone know in this interview that he wanted the fight to happen, and claimed that his own efforts convinced the UFC to make it happen.

Regardless, the fight’s on in a few weeks, and supposedly because of Izzy. All that remains is to see who emerges victorious on the night of the 9th. Until then, if you want to read more fight-related nonsense like this, subscribe to Bloody Elbow newsletter on Substack to stay in the loop so you don’t miss out.

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Ivan DeHaas
Ivan DeHaas

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