Sean Strickland, the middleweight champion, is a known trash talker. However, he believes some topics should remain untouched.
Strickland recently criticized Colby Covington for bringing up Leon Edwards’ deceased father before their UFC 296 clash. He felt similar boundaries were crossed by his upcoming UFC 297 opponent, Dricus Du Plessis.
Du Plessis, during a recent seasonal presser, brought up Strickland’s abusive childhood. He told Strickland that he would put on a worse beating on him than his father. This comment triggered Strickland, leading to him attacking the South African at UFC 296, a day after the presser.
Strickland shared his feelings on comedian Theo Von’s “This Past Weekend” podcast. He stated, “There’s some things that are off limits. You don’t really talk about a man’s wife, you don’t talk about a man’s kids, and you don’t talk about a kid being abused. These things are all off limits. Once he crossed that … I tried to f—ing ignore it. I was boiling.”
He continued, expressing his anger towards Du Plessis. “Whenever Dricus goes on there and he jokes about that s—, dude, you have no idea. I’ll f—ing kill you, you have no idea. I think the issue is, too, when you’re a kid and you’re made to be a victim your whole life, as an adult, you’re like, never again. I’ll f—ing kill you.”
Strickland also claimed to have bitten Du Plessis during the brawl. However, this wasn’t captured in any of the videos. “I’m so happy they didn’t get it from a right angle – I bit him. I s–t you not,” Strickland said. “Whenever he went into me, I remember at that moment, he tackles me and right there, you see my head goes up toward him, I started thinking how can hurt this man? I’m going take a f—ing chunk out of him. I’m going to bite his f—ing ear off.”
He also shared his internal conflict during the brawl. “I remember telling myself at that moment, ‘Sean, you can’t do that, that’s something you can’t walk away from. If you do that, then I’m going to jail.’”
The scuffle between Strickland and Du Plessis was broken up by police and security. Strickland decided to leave the arena. UFC CEO Dana White later admitted his mistake in seating the competitors close to each other.
Strickland also revealed intimate details about his traumatic childhood on the podcast. He shared his fears of his father killing his mother and his attempts to protect her. He talked about his father’s threats and his mother’s inability to leave him.
He also shared his struggles with school, his loss of faith, and thoughts of suicide. He said, “It’s one of the things people don’t understand is trauma. People understand, when I talk about, ‘I’d kill a man,’ it’s like you don’t understand. When you go through that level of trauma, you just greet the world differently.”