UFC Vegas 67: Sean Strickland Goes Off on Imavov’s Weigh-In Staredown

Las Vegas, NV — After two straight losses, one a controversial split decision against Jared Cannonier, Sean Strickland returned to the win column at UFC Vegas 67 on Saturday.

Stepping up on short notice to replace Kelvin Gastelum paid off for Strickland (26-5), who was never really in danger in the fight. It was a very different performance from the Cannonier encounter, one in which Strickland was clearly willing to take more risks.

“Here’s the thing you guys: if I wanted to dance around and not get hit and just outpoint the man, I could have,” Strickland told media outlets including Cageside Press following the bout. “But I was like, ‘you know what? You fought like a bitch your last fight and you did that and you lost, so might as well f*cking get some brain damage, do a little man dance, and see what happens.'”

Strickland did admit that, despite never appearing to be down in the fight, the judges were a concern at the end of five rounds.

“I was f*cking scared sh*tless you guys. These judges man, they f*cking, you don’t know. Maybe I had a little blood on my face and they seen that, and they f*cking, who knows these things.”

Taking the fight just days out from the event, Strickland also confirmed he was paid a flat fee for the affair — referring to UFC matchmaker Mick Maynard as a “suave motherf*cker” for getting him the payday.

“No win bonus. They paid me good you guys. They paid me more money than this white trash motherf*cker should ever be making, you know what I’m saying? They paid me f*cking good. Let’s go Mick Maynard, you f*cking suave motherf*cker, you out there wrestling crocodiles, having f*cking threesomes— I don’t know what the f*ck you do. You suave motherf*cker, let’s go!”

Strickland, colorful as always, admitted that he had done “nothing for like four weeks” when he got the call for the fight, just kind of coasting in training. And so his immediate response was “I just don’t know if this is a good fight coming off two Ls.”

When matchmaker Maynard offered that flat fee — Strickland didn’t hint at the exact amount — he was instantly all in. “God damn it Mick, I’m your f*cking huckleberry. You pay me that, I’ll go fight f*cking Francis [Ngannou].”

Known for his rants and expressing a seemingly never-ending stream of consciousness, Strickland then went off on opponent Nassourdine Imavov’s “hard” staredown during Friday’s face-off.

“You see how that motherf*cker looked at me at the weigh-ins? You guys see that sh*t? How hard was that? F*cking Frenchie. Too bad your f*cking country doesn’t look at everybody that conquered them like that. That was so f*cking hard you guys, the way he looked at me,” Strickland exclaimed. “Let me tell you guys something: if I was in the streets and a motherf*cker looked at me like that, I would probably f*cking shoot him. This is what I don’t understand, dude. When you look at a motherf*cker in the eyes like that, what are you trying to say? Like I want to f*ck you? If I look at someone like that, usually it means I want to f*ck them. What are you trying to say? You trying to get in my head? I will f*cking kill you, metaphorically speaking. But like when you look at me like that, I would f*cking cartel you and your f*cking family if you look at me like that, you motherf*cker.”

To borrow a tired cliche, that escalated quickly. But Strickland is no stranger to those dark thoughts. They’ve become part of his shtick, genuine or not.

“I hate when motherf*ckers do the stare down and they look at me like that. I f*cking hate it. It makes me so f*cking angry, dude, it just makes me angry guys,” Strickland added. “You ain’t my f*cking dad, don’t look at me like that.”

Wrapping up his comments on Imavov, Strickland stated that “It’s a weird way of trying to intimidate me. It’s like motherf*cker, I will kill you— again guys, don’t cancel me for this, this is a thought, this is a f*cking thought. When a man looks at me like that, I will f*cking kill you and and your f*cking family if you look at me like that, you motherf*cker. It’s like, they look at you and it’s like ‘what do you want me to do? Do you think it f*cking scares me, bitch, do you think it f*cking scares me?’ So what I try to do is I laugh and I joke it off, but you guys, I’m going to tell you, it gets to me, it hurts me. As a man, I have feelings too. When you look at me like that, it hurts me. It f*cking hurts me, and it brings me to places I don’t want to be.”

Watch the full UFC Vegas 67 post-fight press conference with Sean Strickland above.