UFC contender Sean Strickland gained a bit of a reputation as a wildman in the gym. Viral videos feature him in hard sparring sessions and even an altercation with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champion Orlando Sanchez because of a supposed “dirty move.”
Indeed, Strickland’s reputation may precede him. But this recent training video at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas shows a different side of the 31-year-old middleweight. Here, he’s more cordial towards his training partners, which included Darren Till, fellow 185-pounder Chris Curtis, and Khamzat Chimaev.
At one point, he even encouraged taking a more philosophical approach to sparring and training (beginning at the 19:40 mark of the video below).
“This is more philosophy as opposed to fight techniques: objects in motion are easier to stay in motion. When you’re stiff, and you have this style… physics, biology, chemistry, the mechanical movement of the body. It takes longer for me (to defend an overhand right).
“But if I’m just here, relaxed, and you see the overhand, it’s already there (for you to block).
“A lot of striking is more of a philosophy, as opposed to… Everybody needs the building blocks, the one-twos, the process. But after a while, if you want to be Anderson Silva, if you want to be Izzy, you need to start creating a philosophy of striking.
“You need to start creating the fluidity, you need to start changing things.
“If you don’t believe in yourself, if you don’t believe in your ability to stay relaxed, to stop punches, you’re not going to. You have to believe in yourself.”
Now that’s something you probably didn’t expect to hear.
Strickland (25-4) broke a six-fight win streak at UFC 276 in July when he was knocked out by Alex Pereira in round one. He is expected to fight Jared Cannonier in a five-round main event on October 15th.