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Strickland not surprised by Rockhold withdrawal, claims he almost KO’d him in sparring

“He was never going to make it to the fight lmao... no one is surprised”.

Sean Stickland makes a candid statement during his post-fight interview with Paul Felder.
Sean Strickland speaks to Paul Felder following his unanimous decision victory over Uriah Hall at UFC Vegas 33.
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Sean Strickland isn’t the slightest bit surprised by Luke Rockhold’s withdrawal from their now-canceled middleweight bout at UFC 268 next month.

Rockhold was expected to take on Strickland after a two-year layoff but was forced to shelve his UFC comeback due to injury. The former UFC and Strikeforce middleweight champion is reported to have suffered a herniated disc in his back.

Strickland, however, doesn't believe Rockhold had any intention of making the walk to the octagon next month and claims he almost KO’d the 36-year-old in sparring.

“He was never going to make it to the fight lmao... no one is surprised I sparred him once and almost put him out.. didn’t even spar the second round, walked out of the gym lmao.. I knew this wasn’t happening,” Strickland, who is on a five-fight streak, posted.

Strickland is now without an opponent for UFC 268 but the UFC will no doubt be scrambling for a suitable replacement.

The pay-per-view, which is one of the most anticipated events of the year, features two title bouts: a welterweight championship rematch between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington and a strawweight title bout between Rose Namajunas and Weili Zhang.

UFC 268 is scheduled to take place on Nov. 6 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.