Sean Strickland is turning the volume up to 11 ahead of his middleweight title tilt against Israel Adesanya at UFC 293, but he warned people not to let his noise distract them from his fighting abilities.
Strickland stepped in to face Adesanya in Sydney after South African contender Dricus du Plessis declared himself unable to be ready in time for Saturday’s event in Australia, and the trash-talking American contender has been more than happy to take up the challenge.
“It’s going to be a f*****g war,” Strickland told the press during media day.
“I do think people forget how good of a fighter I am because of how much I talk, but we’ll find out on Sunday – to the death.
“I run my mouth so much, I think people forget I can fight.”
Strickland is a slick kickboxer with solid skills on the mat, but his penchant to stand and trade with opponents sometimes overrides sensible gameplanning, as we saw when he went toe-to-toe with Alex Pereira and got viciously knocked out at UFC 276 last summer.
Since then he lost a split decision to Jared Cannonier in a very competitive outing, then bounced back with wins over European contenders Nassourdine Imavov and Abus Magomedov.
Now Strickland is set to face an elite striker once again, and he was asked whether he’d learned his lesson from the Pereira bout and would utilize his wrestling.
“I’m going to wrestle my ass off,” Strickland replied.
“But I also wrestled my ass off (ahead of my bout) with Alex. Problem is, man, you get in there and your d**k gets a little bit hard (and the) next thing you know, you’re going to turn into a boxing match. Maybe I’m going to try to be a complete MMA fighter, but no promises!”