Sean Strickland is making waves in the world of mixed martial arts with his unorthodox approach to MMA. In a recent interview, Strickland made it clear that he has no intentions of incorporating grappling into his matches and even went as far as to dismiss Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as “useless.”
Grappling has long been regarded as a cornerstone of success in MMA, with wrestling and BJJ proving to be highly effective techniques. The ability to minimize damage, control opponents, and potentially secure submissions has catapulted many grapplers to dominance in the UFC. Notable names like Khabib Nurmagomedov, Islam Makhachev, Charles Oliveira, Georges St-Pierre, and Demian Maia have showcased the power of grappling in the octagon.
However, Sean Strickland, at 32 years old, stands in stark contrast to the traditional MMA approach. He openly expresses his preference for trading punches with opponents, citing the sheer excitement it brings him. During an interview with Nina Drama, Strickland revealed that while he acknowledges the importance of wrestling, he actively chooses not to employ it.
“Well, you guys, here’s the thing… I train for it. I’ve been wrestling a lot in camp. But you know, sometimes you get up there, you’re looking at the man. And I think to myself, ‘I wanna stand and bang with this guy.’ So I probably should wrestle, but that’s probably not gonna happen,” Strickland candidly explained.
When queried about his BJJ credentials, Strickland confirmed holding a black belt but went on to express his apathy toward it, even humorously suggesting its redundancy.
“Yeah, I got one [BJJ black belt] a while ago. It’s bulls**t; it doesn’t work. Doesn’t work, you guys, jiu-jitsu doesn’t work. It’s somewhere in the trunk; my black belt, I lost my gi. I don’t wear it anymore. Why do you need a black belt when you got a gun?” Strickland quipped.
In a recent title bout against one of the UFC’s premier strikers, Israel Adesanya, Strickland remained steadfast in his commitment to avoid grappling. However, Strickland astounded everyone by dominating Adesanya in a contest of striking.
During the championship showdown, Strickland showcased a unique defensive strategy, culminating in a powerful right-hand punch that sent Adesanya to the canvas. Strickland capitalized on the opportunity with a barrage of head punches while maintaining control of Adesanya’s back, ultimately securing a unanimous decision victory.
Strickland has been criticized for his decision to not grapple against superior strikers in the past despite the advice from his corner. He even spent the whole camp before Adesanya clash grappling, only to outstrike Adesanya.