Sean Strickland could be the customer in what’s successfully a house sport for Israel Adesanya at UFC 293 in Australia, however he expects the group may nonetheless find yourself on his facet earlier than all is claimed and performed.
The rationale for Strickland’s confidence comes all the way down to his opinion on Adesanya as an individual, particularly with the way in which the UFC middleweight champion carries himself outdoors the cage. Whether or not it’s feedback made throughout interviews or pre-fight press conferences, or the selection to color his fingernails, Strickland simply doesn’t like Adesanya or what he represents — and he believes that most individuals agree with him.
“No one likes f****** Izzy. He’s a f****** cringe-lord,” Strickland stated at UFC 293 media day. “All the pieces that man does makes you f****** wince. Like, did he actually do this? Is he actually race-baiting Dricus [Du Plessis] proper now? How does this play out for you? The factor about Izzy, when any person sucks to that diploma, it’s fairly f****** straightforward to make enjoyable of them.
“This f****** cringe-lord. F****** A. Even speaking about him makes me wish to go f****** take a bathe. I really feel soiled.”
Whereas their struggle remains to be a couple of days away, Strickland will come face-to-face with Adesanya for the primary time throughout struggle week at a press convention scheduled on Thursday. The anticipation for that verbal showdown is palpable due to the unpredictability Strickland and Adesanya dropped at their first risky encounter at UFC 276’s pre-fight presser.
As enjoyable because it is perhaps for Strickland to work together with Adesanya on stage, he’s fast to notice that the entire objective of selling results in the eventual struggle. Strickland guarantees that’s all that actually issues to him.
“It’s going to be a f****** warfare,” Strickland stated. “I do assume folks neglect how good of a fighter I’m due to how a lot I discuss, however we’ll discover out on Sunday. To the dying. I run my mouth a lot, I feel folks neglect I can struggle.”
When addressing his sport plan, Strickland acknowledged an enormous a part of his coaching camp was spent specializing in wrestling and grappling as a possible weapon to make use of in opposition to Adesanya, who’s primarily a striker.
After all, Strickland did the identical factor when making ready for a struggle with ex-UFC champion Alex Pereira — after which he suffered a first-round knockout loss.
“Right here’s the factor guys — I’ve been wrestling my ass off,” Strickland stated. “However I additionally wrestled my ass off with Alex [Pereira]. The issue is you get in there and your d*** will get just a little bit laborious and subsequent factor you recognize, you flip it right into a boxing match. Possibly I’m going to attempt to be a whole MMA fighter, however no guarantees.”
Even when he does resolve to wrestle, Strickland is aware of Adesanya received’t make it straightforward for him.
“You struggle a man like that, f****** little twinkle-toes, operating round, dancing round, it’s laborious to shoot [for a takedown],” Strickland stated. “You’re going to should go nostril to nostril, d*** to d***, and make it a warfare.”
Strickland will pull off a large upset if he’s in a position to beat Adesanya, who’s presently a 6-to-1 favourite in accordance with odds makers. A win would additionally crown Strickland as the brand new UFC middleweight champion, nevertheless it seems that accomplishment actually doesn’t sweeten the pot for him.
As a substitute, Strickland touts his checking account as the most important winner in his struggle with Adesanya, and drawing curiosity to the pay-per-view will solely add extra zeroes to his wage when it’s all stated and performed.
“[The fight] means a lot to me, nevertheless it’s a f***** piece of steel,” Strickland stated of the UFC title. “I’m in it for the paycheck. I really like this s***.
“Having a chunk of steel round my waist doesn’t outline me, it doesn’t make me who I’m, it doesn’t make me f****** comfortable. It will be good, however on the finish of the day, it’s only a struggle. It’s simply enjoyable.”