Morning Report: Sean Strickland says he hasn’t watched Israel Adesanya win, doesn’t watch opponents’ fights

Morning Report: Sean Strickland says he hasn’t watched Israel Adesanya win, doesn’t watch opponents’ fights

  • MMA News
  • janvier 17, 2024
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The Sean Strickland story is one of the most surprising in middleweight history.

2023 was the year of the underdog in MMA and arguably none proved that more than MMA Fighting’s Fighter of the Year, Strickland. The reigning UFC middleweight king won three bouts in a row after looking like he was tumbling down the rankings into gatekeeper status with back-to-back losses to close out 2022. Here we are in the first month of 2024 and “Tarzan” will defend his title for the first time against Dricus Du Plessis in UFC 297’s main event this Saturday night.

Strickland’s crowning moment came in Sydney, Australia at UFC 293 in September when he dethroned Israel Adesanya by unanimous decision. With the former two-time champion as his opponent and the performance he put on in consideration, it was inarguably the best Strickland has ever looked as he won four rounds to one across the judges’ scorecards. Even though it was the highlight it was, Strickland hasn’t watched it yet and likely won’t.

“I actually haven’t even watched that fight yet,” Strickland told ESPN of his Adesanya win. “I don’t watch fights. No, no, [I don’t watch my opponents]. Low self-esteem, you know? It just kind of builds up in me and I’m like, ‘You f****** suck. You’re a f****** loser, you shouldn’t have won that fight. You f****** can.’ So, I just ignore it.

“I forget that I’m fighting. Like, I don’t even think about it [when I’m booked]. It’s just another day.”

As the champion, certain media obligations force Strickland to think about his opponents earlier than fight night inside the octagon. The 2024 UFC seasonal press conference is a prime example, followed by their scuffle in the UFC 296 crowd last month.

Despite formerly fighting at welterweight, Strickland, 32, has firmly come into his 6-foot-1 frame at 185 pounds and even fought as high as light heavyweight last year. In terms of his specific fight camp preparation that does play into his mind, it’s all about keeping his body in peak condition.

“I think about my weight cut, I think about dieting,” Strickland said. “At the end of the day, it’s in the hands of God. No matter what I do, no matter how much I think about it, it ain’t changing. The outcome ain’t changing. I could go sit up on a rock like f****** Karate Kid and get a Miyagi and think about it and dwell about it and mentally get in the zone, but the outcome ain’t changing. Enjoy life, go eat a f****** cheeseburger, be happy. Just when it comes, it comes.”

The matchup with Du Plessis quickly appeared to become a grudge match of sorts after the pair’s initial encounters. For “Stillknocks,” he’s unbeaten in the UFC with six straight wins (eight overall, 20-2 record) and can make history as South Africa’s first UFC champion. Stylistically, Du Plessis is an entertaining finisher with only one decision in his winning streak (five KO/TKOs, two submissions).

Strickland acknowledges the unique challenge ahead of him, but doesn’t call the fight personal even after admitting to Du Plessis crossing the line with comments in the build-up.

“He’s f****** awkward,” Strickland said. “It’s like when you’re that level of awkward, you just do weird s*** and it works. He’s tough, he fights hard, I mean f***. His coach always keeps him hard, keeps him ready (laughs). He’s just f****** awkward, dude.

“I actually dearly like Dricus, but you just like — here’s the thing, man … You know who I am. I will f****** kill you. I love my life, I don’t want to go to prison, and I don’t want to die, but I’m the one guy who is okay throwing away my life. One day, I hope if the opportunity presents itself, I f****** man up and I do it. We’re gonna have this interview and we’re gonna all look back at it like, ‘Oh yeah, Sean wasn’t f****** joking. He really f****** threw away his life.’ It’s like, I’m the one person — I’m okay dying as long as you die with me.”

Loss. Tatiana Suarez out of UFC 298, Mackenzie Dern now faces Amanda Lemos

Insight. Unapologetic: Sean Strickland teammates, coaches detail what it’s like to have the UFC champ in the gym

Caution. Sean Strickland threatens to stab Dricus du Plessis if he crosses line at UFC 297 fight week

Update. Not Logan Paul (Rodney Petersen) reports 8 head staples, severe concussion from Nate Diaz brawl

Commentary. Dominick Cruz replaces Joe Rogan on broadcast team for UFC 297

Rematch. Chael Sonnen: Jorge Masvidal vs. Nate Diaz boxing match among worst ideas ‘I’ve heard in a meaningful period of time’

Roundtable. Is Sean Strickland poised for another ‘Fighter of the Year’ run?

Unknown. Matt Brown hints at retirement if he gets Jim Miller at UFC 300: ‘There’s a good chance that could be my last fight’

MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck chats with Eric Nicksick and Jon Anik.

Sound & Pound.

Embedded 2.

Official Pennington vs. Bueno Silva preview.

UFC Connected: Mike Mallott.

RIZIN Confessions 140.

Volk on 298.

Reaction. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck, Shaun Al-Shatti, Jed Meshew, and Eric Jackman discuss Dana White announcing Justin Gaethje vs. Max Holloway BMF title fight for UFC 300.

Reaction. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck, Shaun Al-Shatti, and Jed Meshew discuss PFL vs. Bellator champions event revealed — how successful can it be?

Heck of a Morning. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck discusses if the Sean Strickland vs. Dricus Du Plessis winner will headline UFC 300.


PFL is back.

History potential.





Amanda Lemos (13-3-1) vs. Mackenzie Dern (13-4); UFC 298, Feb. 17

Renan Ferreira (12-3) vs. Ryan Bader (31-7); PFL vs. Bellator, Feb. 24

Impa Kasanganay (15-3) vs. Johnny Eblen (14-0); PFL vs. Bellator, Feb. 24

Magomed Magomedkerimov (34-6) vs. Jason Jackson (17-4); PFL vs. Bellator, Feb. 24

Jesus Pinedo (23-6-1) vs. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (35-7); PFL vs. Bellator, Feb. 24

Bruno Cappelozza (15-6) vs. Vadim Nemkov (17-2); PFL vs. Bellator, Feb. 24

Thiago Santos (22-11) vs. Yoel Romero (15-7); PFL vs. Bellator, Feb. 24

Clay Collard (24-11) vs. AJ McKee (21-1); PFL vs. Bellator, Feb. 24

Gabriel Braga (12-1) vs. Aaron Pico (12-4); PFL vs. Bellator, Feb. 24

Biaggio Ali Walsh (0-0) vs. Chris Morris (0-0); PFL vs. Bellator, Feb. 24

Claressa Shields (1-1) vs. Kelsey DeSantis (1-2); PFL vs. Bellator, Feb. 24

Stamp Fairtex (11-2) vs. Denice Zamboanga (10-2); ONE 166, March 1

Kennedy Nzechukwu (12-4) vs. Ovince Saint Preux (26-17); UFC Vegas 87, March 16

Bobby Green (31-15-1, 1 NC) vs. Jim Miller (37-17, 1 NC); UFC 300, April 13

Justin Gaethje (25-4) vs. Max Holloway (25-7); UFC 300, April 13

Typically, I’d say it might not be the best approach that Strickland is taking with his game-planning, but it’s obviously paid off. Everyone is different. Stick to whatever works. To know Dricus is awkward, he must have watched him fight though, right…?! Busted!

Thanks for reading!


Who wins this weekend?

  • 0%

    Sean Strickland and Raquel Pennington

    (0 votes)

  • 0%

    Sean Strickland and Mayra Bueno Silva

    (0 votes)

  • 0%

    Dricus Du Plessis and Raquel Pennington

    (0 votes)

  • 0%

    Dricus Du Plessis and Mayra Bueno Silva

    (0 votes)

0 votes total

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