Sean Strickland wants his title shot.
One year ago, Strickland was knocking on the door of his first career Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) title opportunity. A win over talented kickboxing world champion, Alex Pereira, would have extended “Tarzan’s” winning streak to seven. Unfortunately for him, Strickland tasted defeat via a first round knockout (watch highlights).
Strickland, 32, has gotten back on the comeback trail since the loss, suffering another via split decision defeat to Jared Cannonier before picking up a unanimous decision win over Nassourdine Imavov in Jan. 2023. The current Middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, is awaiting his next challenger, which is expected to come out of the Robert Whittaker vs. Dricus Du Plessis fight at UFC 290 next weekend (Sat., July 8, 2023). However, should Strickland win at UFC Vegas 76 this weekend (Sat., July 1, 2023) and the UFC 290 survivor not come out too banged up, it could open the door for the filterless contender.
“If the money is right, I’ll fight anybody,” Strickland said at UFC Vegas 76 media day. “I would like to fight f—kin’ ‘Izzy.’ I think Whittaker is gonna f—k Dricus up. I think we all know that.
“It’s kind of embarrassing that Dricus gets a potential shot, but ‘Izzy’ the Chinese — true Chinese — they probably want to bring a real African back to the championship. Can you guys believe that s—t? Is that real when he says look at the color of my skin? Did that really happen? Is that real? This f—king clown, this f—king loser, bro. They need to revoke your black card, bro. I don’t even look at you like a black man. I look at you like the f—king Chinese.”
A majority of Adesanya’s time competing early in mixed martial arts (MMA) and kickboxing came in China where he went by the “Black Dragon” nickname and represented the country. Therefore, prompting these shots from Strickland.
For Strickland to have any chance of facing Adesanya anytime soon, he’ll need to get past the rising prospect, Abus Magomedov. Even if Magomedov is the one to come out on top, Strickland sees a world where he gets that spot against the champion instead ... Not that he feels it would be the most exciting option, though.
“This is a fun fight, man,” Strickland said of him vs. Adesanya. “Like, you take Abus. Who the f—k is Abus? Let’s just say Abus knocks me the f—k out and he becomes the champion. Who the f—k is Abus? Do you really want Abus as a champion contender? Does that guy even speak english? A little bit? Well, there we go. I don’t know, man. I barely speak f—king english. Man can’t fight during f—king Ramadan and s—t.
“I deserve a shot,” he concluded. “Let’s make it happen. Worst case scenario, me and ‘Izzy’ are gonna fight in the f—king parking lot because that s—t needs to happen.”
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