Sean Strickland Learns a Valuable Lesson
Sean Strickland was the talk of the town, and of the MMA fanbase, after Thursday’s pre-fight press conference. His antics, forced at times and occasionally feeling like a stand-up act, nevertheless stole the show at an otherwise dull affair. Let’s be honest, Jared Cannonier is not a vocal fighter and was never going to get into a trash-talking contest with Izzy. Strickland actually had the upper hand more than once, if you care about such things.
Strickland, who does not care who he offends as long as they watch him, was happy to engage. Did he cross the line? More than once. But that’s the point. Sean Strickland in 2022 seems to be going the “shocking for the sake of shocking” route more than playing a heel role, as fighters like Chael Sonnen and Danny Sabatello have.
But regardless of your approach, if you’re going to talk a lot in the fight game, you had better win. Strickland did not. Instead, he was flatlined on Saturday by a much more deadly striker in Alex Pereira. Had Strickland been smart, he would have attempted to wrestle the kickboxer, as he’d threatened to do at the press conference. Instead, he gave Pereira exactly the stand-up fight he was looking for, and paid dearly, knocked out by a man who neither heard (thanks to the language barrier) nor cared about his trash talk. Pereira hinted at as much after the fight.
Strickland is off now to “sit in a dark room and be depressed for a while.” Whether or not he’s truly humbled remains to be seen, but losing as quick as he did on Saturday after talking mountains of trash at Adesanya (rather than his own opponent) hasn’t helped his stock any.