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‘Deep inside, he’s not a bad guy’ - Vettori explains ‘weird relationship’ with Sean Strickland

Marvin Vettori talks about his “weird relationship” with training partner and fellow UFC middleweight Sean Strickland.

Sean Strickland talks to media after his win over Krzysztof Jotko in 2021.
Sean Strickland talks to media after his win over Krzysztof Jotko in 2021.
Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

They say there is no such thing as bad press, and it’s something UFC middleweight Sean Strickland seems to live by. Six-fight win streak aside, “Tarzan” has drawn negative attention for himself, both for antics inside and outside the gym and through some of his statements.

Regardless of the aforementioned, some of Strickland’s training partners have some positive words about him. Fellow middleweight and sparring partner Marvin Vettori, for one, had this to say:

“It’s a very weird relationship me and Sean have. We respect each other and he says a lot of crazy shit. It’s hard to stay by his side a lot of times, but I know deep inside he’s not a bad guy,” Vettori told Helen Yee.

“He brings it, we help each other. We’ve been helping each other for over five or more years, almost. Even when they asked us to fight each other, we were kind of like (weirded out).

“He’s one of the guys that give me more work than a lot of other guys, and it’s the same for him.

“Even though he’s a little bit crazy, I still respect him, and I consider him a friend.”

Unfortunately, Strickland’s reputed nice guy persona doesn’t translate well outside the gym. Recently, he was banned from Twitter for making numerous transphobic remarks.

As for his MMA career, Strickland is slated to face former GLORY kickboxing double-champion Alex Pereira at UFC 276 on July 2. Vettori, meanwhile, was supposed to fight ex-champion Robert Whittaker at UFC 275 in Singapore, but the latter pulled out due to injury. The matchup is being planned to be rescheduled for the company’s first event in Paris on September 3.