Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender Sean Strickland has been making headlines over the last few months for his outspoken views on everything from intimate desert encounters to first-degree murder, raising a fair share of eyebrows along the way.
Turns out “Tarzan” was just getting started.
“I was really fucking angry,” Strickland told The MMA Hour about his abusive childhood. “I was so angry I actually went through this weird neo-Nazi, white supremacist phase when I was younger and I got kicked out of school for hate crimes, like all this crazy shit. I was angry and I had a lot of fucked-up influences in my life that it felt so good to fucking hate something. I would walk down the street with like a knife or a rock hoping to kill somebody. And when I started training I’m like man, you’re just fucking angry.”
Get a sample of that anger right here.
The 30 year-old Strickland improved to 24-3 with a unanimous decision win over 185-pound veteran Uriah Hall in the UFC Vegas 33 main event last July in “Sin City.” The victory marked his fifth straight and left “Tarzan” sitting at No. 7 in the promotion’s official rankings.
A far cry from his days as a middle school menace.
“My grandfather was like this big piece of shit,” Strickland continued. “When you’re a kid you don’t see that, you hero worship. He kinda just filled your head with crazy shit. You’re in seventh grade spouting off about Nazis, you don’t even know what the fuck that means. But you hear it from someone you look up to and that identity consumed me. Drawing swastikas walking to school, like I didn’t know what the fuck that was. Later my grandfather died and I kinda resented him for it. When you’re racist, you don’t get ahead in life. You’re fucked, man. There’s no privilege from being racist, so I resented him for a majority of my life.”
As of this writing, Strickland remains unbooked.