Israel Adesanya has let slip the man who could be his next opponent if he defends his middleweight title against Jared Cannonier at UFC 276 this weekend.
Sean Strickland will also compete on the pay-per-view this Saturday night in what many believe will be the number one contender fight against Alex Pereira – the only man to knock out “Stylebender”.
Ahead of his final title defense, the 185lb UFC king revealed he had mixed emotions about Strickland.
On the one hand, he thinks the 31-year-old is a ‘rotten apple’, on the other, he finds him quite amusing.
“Sean Strickland, he’s a bad mother*****. Like literally a bad rotten apple, but I like the guy he’s funny,” Adesanya said during the UFC 276 preview with Alexander Volkanovski who is also competing on the card.
Adesanya is unimpressed with Strickland’s punching skills and actually thinks Strickland is more dangerous in the gym than in a real fight.
“I’ve seen him do more damage on YouTube in sparring than in his fights. I saw his fight footage and I would never train with an idiot like that, he said.
“I’ve hurt people in sparring before and I’m just like, ‘Oh shit, my bad’. Or I’ll walk away with the body shot or whatever, but I’ve seen what he does.
“He’s got a lot of loose screws, a lot of loose screws.”
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Strickland has earned a reputation as the wild man of MMA due to his crazy social media posts that often include controversial opinions on sensitive topics.
“Tarzan” has also become a bad training partner, because the images of his training sessions are often found on social networks.
The American was caught talking to his teammates and throwing punches and an angry rant at BJJ champion Orlando Sanchez after he submitted him with a ‘dirty move’.
Earlier this year, Strickland infamously posted footage of one of his workouts and it led to him receiving a lot of flak from fans and fighters alike.
The video shows Strickland unleashing a series of powerful punches at his sparring partner who looks exhausted and is just trying to survive the onslaught.
In the end, the UFC star throws and lands a high kick that knocks his opponent out.
The stranger falls through the ropes and others in the gym jump into the ring to check on their injured teammate.
It’s fair to say that Adesanya is wise to avoid sparring partners like Strickland, but he won’t be able to avoid the man himself if they’re both victorious at UFC 276 in a few days.
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