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Sean Strickland uninterested in Darren Till, prefers Costa or Hermansson for next UFC fight

Strickland appears to be aiming for fighters ranked above him for his next fight. 

Sean Strickland after his fight at UFC Fight Night: Reyes vs. Procházka.
Sean Strickland after his fight at UFC Fight Night: Reyes vs. Procházka.
Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

Sean Strickland knows Darren Till wants a fight, but he is not sold on it.

Till told Michael Bisping on an episode of the Believe You Me podcast that the UFC offered him a fight against Strickland, who he would want to meet in the headliner for an upcoming event that is rumored to take place in London next year. Till said he honed in on Strickland because he believes he is a top fighter in the division and the potential fight between them would be a good one.

Strickland responded to Till on Twitter and wrote that he would actually prefer to fight either Paulo Costa or Jack Hermansson in his next Octagon appearance instead. Both Costa and Hermansson are currently ranked above Strickland at No. 5 and No. 6 respectively.

“I’m not fighting Darren Till,” tweeted Strickland. “I want [Paulo] Costa and if Costa can’t put down the wine and cookies, I want Jack [Hermansson].”

Costa returned to action and lost a unanimous decision against Marvin Vettori at UFC Vegas 41 this past October. Though ‘Borrachinha’ and ‘The Italian Dream’ usually compete at middleweight, this fight was contested at light heavyweight after Costa revealed he would be unable to make weight. The shift in weight led to UFC president Dana White declaring that he will no longer be allowed to fight at 185 pounds but rather at 205 pounds, which Costa has vehemently rejected.

Hermansson rebounded from a loss to Vettori with a decision win over Edmen Shahbazyan at UFC Fight Night: Font vs. Garbrandt in May. The ‘Joker’ has kept busy with a freestyle wrestling match opposite of Khamzat Chimaev but took some time to express interest in what Strickland proposed.

“I’m on the same page,” tweeted Hermansson. “Costa or you.”

Strickland has looked impressive since moving up from welterweight to middleweight over a year ago. He defeated the likes of Jack Marshman, Brendan Allen and Krzysztof Jotko before the 30-year-old was given his first UFC main event opportunity against Uriah Hall at UFC Vegas 33. Strickland went on to earn a unanimous decision over Hall.

Strickland was set to make his third appearance this year against Luke Rockhold at UFC 268, but that fight was canceled after Rockhold suffered an injury and was forced to withdraw from the event. He has not been booked for a fight since then.