In a surprising turn of events, UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland, made waves by discarding his hard-earned BJJ black belt. The video capturing this unconventional act has ignited discussions across online platforms, with fans and critics chiming in on the unexpected move.
The MMA community, known for its diverse opinions, showcased a spectrum of reactions to Strickland’s polarizing move. Strickland’s decision to part ways with a symbol that represents over a decade of dedication to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu sparked debates on the significance of traditional martial arts symbols in the modern MMA landscape.
One prevailing sentiment revolves around the evolving nature of skill sets in the sport. Some argue that a black belt, while symbolizing proficiency, may not necessarily reflect the practical prowess needed in the dynamic world of MMA.
Discussions veer towards the idea that an extensive training history and a competitive edge can outweigh the significance of a black belt in certain contexts.
The online discourse also delves into Strickland’s character, describing him as a complex figure oscillating between an edgy persona and a genuine competitor. Some view his actions as a form of performative character work, reminiscent of classic wrestling promos, injecting a dose of excitement reminiscent of earlier days in the sport.
However, Strickland’s move has not been universally embraced, with critics questioning the necessity of such a public display. Skepticism lingers about the authenticity of the act and whether it adds substance to his persona or is merely a ploy for attention.
It’s worth noting that Strickland was seated close to Craig Jones during UFC 296, and seemed to be disparaging the use of BJJ the entire time he was there.
Jones was quoted saying:
Strickland previously had a run in with ADCC winner (now deceased) Orlando Sanchez, in which Strickland threw a kick at Sanchez’ attempt to crank him in lead up to his scheduled bout. Despite his disdain for BJJ, Strickland has competed in BJJ, losing a Submission Underground bout to Andy Varela.