American Sean Strickland insists he is ready for an immediate rematch with Israel Adesanya while also revealing the “f…ing strange” conversation that took place between the pair immediately after the fight.
Strickland secured one of the greatest upsets in UFC history on Sunday when he scored a convincing decision win over New Zealand’s superstar middleweight champ at UFC 293 in Sydney.
Speaking immediately after the fight, the new champ insisted he was happy to go straight into another match with the Kiwi, who approached him inside the Octagon immediately after the fight was over.
Asked what was said, Strickland said it had to do with him mentioning his dog during a crazy build up that saw the pair do plenty of jawing throughout fight week.
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“It was f…ing strange man,” Strickland said.
“I think he was mad that I mentioned his dog.
“Is that what it was? I was mad at his dog?
“I was like ‘what the f… is going on? Are we having this conversation?
“So I’m sorry for making fun of your dog. I’m sure he’s a great fella.”
Told Adesanya’s dog, which is tattooed on his neck, had passed away, he continued: “Oh is that what it is?
“I killed a dog once.
Moments later, he added: “Let me clarify that statement otherwise I’ll get my Instagram f…ing (exploded).
“I was hiking once, with my little rascals running around and there were these stray dogs, vicious f…ing pitbulls.
“They came running at my dogs, I had a gun and – boom – plugged one.
“So, you know, to clarify, it was self defence.
“But at the end of the day Izzy it was a f…ing dog, c’mon.”
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When it came to the fight however, and talk of any immediate rematch, Strickland said he expected to have no other choice anyway.
“Here is the thing about the UFC guys,” he said.
“When do you have a f…ing choice about who you fight? The UFC never comes up says ‘hey, Sean would you like to fight this guy, or this guy?’
“The UFC says ‘hey, you’re fighter this guy’ … and you fight him.
“And the end of the day I’m champion so line them up and I’ll knock them down or get knocked down.”
Asked how the belt would change him, Strickland said he would likely auction it off and asked the media for guesstimates over what it might fetch.
“I just like to fight, man,” he said.
“I fight because it allows me to train. All it does is finance my hobby. The reason I fight is because I have a hobby of training and this allows me to do it.”
On his attitude for bringing down the champ, he said: “For 25 minutes you have to tell yourself I’m ready to die in this mother…er”.
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Strickland also made light of whether his tough upbringing had helped shape him for this moment.
“Thank God for child abuse, right” he cackled.
“F… yeah, let’s go childhood trauma and repressed memories.
“You get me to where I needed to be.
“Dad, you’re f…ing awesome man. All the years of abuse … you really made me the man I am today.
“I dunno you guys.
“I’m just happy this world has a place for us.
“If it wasn’t for this (points to the UFC belt) I’m sure I would’ve committed some random act of violence, been locked up for killing someone.
“So thanks UFC.
“You f…ing saved someone life including my own.”
So as for how he might spend some of his winner’s purse?
“My Hyundai Accent,” he grinned. “I’m going to put some spinners on that mother f…er.
“I’ve got a $16,000 Hyundai with $20,000 spinning rims. That will be f…ing great.”