Sean Strickland var en galen historia från att inte bli UFC-mästare i mellanvikt.

Sean Stricklands tränare trodde att Jared Cannonier skulle ersätta adepten vid UFC 293

Tränaren på Xtreme Couture Erick Nicksick säger att Sean Stricklands mun och nävar nästan satte denne i trubbel. Det hade kunnat leda till att UFC fick ringa upp Jared Cannonier för att ersätta honom som titelutmanare.

Strickland berättade för Fox Sports Australia att han slog ett fan i magen veckan före matchen. Även om händelsen inte kom att få några större konsekvenser såg det ett tag ut som att Strickland skulle plockas bort.

Nicksick sade följande denna onsdag i The MMA Hour:

We were walking on eggshells all week,” “Honest to God, I thought we were going to get pulled. I really did. They went to the beach and Sean basically incriminates himself during fight week [in an interview], ‘Yeah, this guy comes up to me talking trash and I punched him in his belly.’ Apparently, the Australian government or whoever heard this, they got word of this, and it went downhill from there. It got to the point where they were flying John Crouch out from Arizona, from MMA Lab, to come out and corner Jared Cannonier.

When I heard that, I was like, ‘Bro, we’re off. They’re going to pull us from this card.’ Remember, these guys probably didn’t want Sean in this spot to begin with. We were walking on thin ice the moment we got there. Every fan that we had an interaction with, when I was there, absolutely adored Sean, loved him. Pictures, hugs, this and that.

The one day I’m not there, I get a call and they’re like, ‘Yeah, I guess some fan came up to Sean and started talking s***.’ And Sean just gave him a rip, like a little bump, I don’t even know, it wasn’t like he hit the guy hard or something. It flew under the radar, there was nothing being said about it, and then Sean’s dumb ass goes on and says something in an interview and basically incriminates himself and I’m like, ‘Bro, what are we doing?’

Var otroligt spänt under den öppna träningen

Strickland kom dock att kliva ut till oktagonen vid UFC 293 där han sedan grundligt besegrade Israel Adesanya och blev mellanviktsmästare. Nicksick är inte helt säker på hur långt det gick i processen att ersätta Strickland. Det kom dock inte vara det sista känsliga ögonblicket med ett fan.

Under UFC 293:s öppna träning bjöd Strickland in ett fan att kliva in på scenen och sparras med honom. Det var ett underhållande ögonblick och även ett minnesvärt sådant. Nicksick såg dock stor potential för trubbel:

Then we go to the open workout, and I’m just thinking in my head, ‘This is an awful idea, I’m looking at everybody, Dave Lockett, Megan Olivi, I’m like, ‘What kind of liability is this right now?’ I’m going to tell Sean, ‘Don’t hit this guy hard and don’t get cut. This is beyond stupid.’

Sean does what Sean does, and it turned into a hit. They loved him, Sean ended up getting the guy a ticket to the fight, the guy came to the fights, he was front row and he was there for Sean’s victory. Won the whole crowd over. The guy’s a sitcom. He’s an episode of Seinfeld. How is this guy going to get out of this jam today?

Ni kan se händelsen med fanet i videon nedan:

Sean Strickland was a man of his word and brought a fan onstage to spar at the #UFC293 open workouts

— MMA Fighting (@MMAFighting) September 6, 2023

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