Ahead of the July 2 pay-per-view, which went down inside Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, the notable fighters took part in the customary fight week presser. Joining Adesanya and challenger Jared Cannonier on stage were a pair of 185-pound contenders who duked it out in a title eliminator.
Given his eccentric and outspoken personality, which often leads to controversial statements and moments, Strickland’s inclusion at the press conference drew intrigue. It went as expected, with “Tarzan” getting into it with the middleweight king.
“Oh man, I made the champion mad with his f****** frosted tips and his gay little watch, oh no!” Strickland said at one point. “I’m just joking. Izzy is a savage. Bro, your Pornhub is just filled with cartoons. No man who beats off to cartoons is going to beat me. Calm down.”
Unfortunately for those who enjoyed the exchange, it doesn’t seem likely to be replicated anytime soon given how Strickland’s UFC 276 fight went down. In the opening round, the American was slept by Alex Pereira, who is now likely to advance to a championship showdown with “The Last Stylebender.”
According to Adesanya, Strickland would have had a better chance at victory had he focused on “Poatan” rather than him pre-fight.
Adesanya Slams Strickland’s “Disrupting” Presence
During a recent interview uploaded to his YouTube channel, the middleweight champ reflected on the other big matchup in his division that took place on the UFC 276 main card.
After reiterating his belief that Strickland spent too much time focusing on him rather than Pereira, Adesanya recalled the 31-year-old’s approach to the press conference, branding him the “idiot at the back of class.”
“He should have listened to me. I told him, ‘Just focus on the guy you have in front of you, not me.’ … He was just trying to be like that idiot at the back of class,” Adesanya said. “I hated having to address that idiot, you know what I mean? It’s like, I’m trying to f*cking work, and then the guy I’m focused on his next to me, or down the line, and this idiot, this dumba*s at the back of class that’s just disrupting.
“It’s like, ‘Yo, it’s not me you have to worry about, focus on this guy [Pereira].’ If he did what he had to do, me and him would be fighting next. Don’t fight with your ego,” Adesanya concluded.
While some more exchanges on the mic between Strickland and Adesanya would no doubt have created some viral clips and questionable remarks, “Tarzan” will need to rebound and earn his place back near the top of the weight class first, having had his middleweight record blemished for the first time at UFC 276.
What did you make of Sean Strickland’s press conference exchanges with Israel Adesanya?