Sean Strickland is looking for a fight.
The No. 7-ranked Middleweight contender last made the walk in January, picking apart top prospect Nassourdine Imavov en route to a dominant decision win. Since then, he’s publicly called for a showdown opposite Paulo Costa, and the recently resigned Brazilian millionaire seems pretty open to the match up.
For whatever reason, it sounds like UFC isn’t up for the match up. In fact, Sean Strickland says UFC has no Middleweight dance partners available, and the former Welterweight has a new plan: call out some Light Heavyweights! Specifically, Strickland named former Light Heavyweight title challenger Dominick Reyes as a potential 205-pound foe.
“I just talked to the UFC, and they pretty much said I’m f—ked, I’m out of luck,” Strickland began. “So some 205ers out there, Dominick Reyes, I don’t know, anybody out there that wants a piece? Maybe? Maybe, we handle this at 205 because that division is open.”
Times have been tough for the 33-year-old “Devastator” ever since he controversially lost to Jon Jones in 2020. Since then, Reyes has fought just three times, losing all three fights via stoppage after starting his career a perfect 12-0. It would be an odd match up for Reyes, but at least the knockout threat would be less severe than other potential bounce back fights.
Still, it does feel like some Middleweight options are available for Strickland. Inside the Top 10, fighters like Robert Whittaker, Marvin Vettori, and Dricus du Plessis all remain unbooked. If Costa is out of the picture for whatever reason, any of those fights would make sense, or Strickland could fight down the rankings against someone like Roman Dolidze, who just came up short opposite Vettori at UFC 286.
Worst case, Khamzat Chimaev is also rumored to be returning to Middleweight sooner than later.