Move over Conor, there’s a new foul-mouthed lunatic in town.
Sean Strickland captured the middleweight title by defeating Israel Adesanya in the UFC 293 pay-per-view (PPV) main event last weekend in Sydney, proving that “Tarzan” is more than just “white trash” with recurring homicidal fantasies.
And UFC fans can’t seem to get enough.
“Let me tell you this: So on Instagram, I have 8.3 million followers,” UFC CEO Dana White told reporters during the “Contender Series” press conference. “Me wrapping the belt on him did 16 million views. [Daniel Cormier] was telling me on the flight back he did interviews with him on his YouTube channel and it was the biggest he’d ever done. If you saw, there was a lot of hype around Strickland early. He lost a couple, hype kind of died down, he came back and he won the world title, and people are fascinated again. I think people love an underdog. He was such a big underdog in that fight, he came out and won, good for him. I love that sh*t, I love the support he’s getting, it’s great.”
So much for this idiotic theory.
It will be interesting to see if Strickland, 32, has the staying power to remain a bankable star after his next fight. A successful title defense — coupled with the usual “offensive” antics from “Tarzan” — could be the ticket to Strickland’s longevity.
But a one-and-done title reign and it’s back to APEX for another ho-hum headliner.