In 23 fights, Sean Strickland has only tasted defeat on three occasions.
The former standout welterweight prospect hasn’t been seen inside the Octagon since UFC Moncton in October 2018. It was a successful effort to close out his contract at the time when he TKO’d Nordine Taleb in the second round.
However, the break from action wasn’t by choice as an accident that saw Strickland struck by a car while riding his motorcycle left him severely injured.
Two years later and he’s ready to get back at it but he’ll be returning to his original fighting home of 185-pounds at middleweight. Standing in his way at UFC Vegas 12 this Saturday night will be the Welshman, Jack Marshman (23-9).
“I really think welterweight was a bad idea from the beginning,” Strickland told The Scrap, “I was just kind of scared. Not scared of my opponent but you get scared of failure and you want to do more and sacrifice more, then I’ll get more. And as you get older you realize that’s not the case.”
While welterweight is now in the rearview mirror for the 29-year old, he doesn’t rule a return out of the equation — it’s just a matter of how the results look up a weight class.
Ahead of the Marshman showdown, Strickland took the time to reminisce on how “fighting led to fighting” with some stories from his youth. Some of which were from over a decade ago while the others went back to his losses. A rather notable of those three came against future UFC champion, Kamaru Usman.
“I’ll never forget that camp,” he began, “I never wrestled, I was a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu and I was like, ‘I’m a Jiu-Jitsu guy, f*ck wrestling. I’ll do stand-up and if he takes me down, yeah, I’ll tap him out,’ Like a stupidass. This was like f*cking four years or however long ago.
“So then I bring a bunch of high-level wrestlers into my camp. And dude, I am just getting f*cked up all camp. The whole eight weeks, bro. These high-level wrestlers are just beating me into the ground while I’m like, ‘I’m gonna f*cking lose this fight,’ I remember walking out there and I had these wrestlers in my corner warming me up. And they were taking me down in the backroom! I had no chance because if these guys are taking me down, he’s gonna take me down.”
In the full chat above, Strickland discussed his recovery from the accident, the Marshman fight, how an arrest led to his fight career, and much, much more.