Sean Strickland admits that he has a weird love/hate relationship with Uriah Hall.
Middleweight contenders Strickland and Hall will headline UFC Vegas 33 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on August 1.
With both fighters riding four-fight winning streaks and Hall being one of the biggest names in the middleweight division, Strickland knows a win will put him in a position to move further up the rankings.
“The cool thing about Uriah is he’s like a gatekeeper,” Strickland said at a press conference on Wednesday. “I don’t want to undersell Uriah and say he’s a gatekeeper, but he’s a damn good gatekeeper.
"He’s a guy you beat and it propels you into one or two away from a title shot. It’s a very interesting thing to think it’s within your grasp.
“It is what it is. It’s a thing people try to make special, but it’s just another day, just another fight. It’s going to be special if I win. If I got knocked out I’m going to look back like, ‘F---, this sucked.'”
Strickland (23-3) also shared an amusing anecdote when he reflected on his time training with Hall at Reign Training Center in California.
“Uriah’s kind of a c---, man," the 30-year-old added. "I like Uriah, so I’ll say that.
"But here’s the difference between me and Uriah. I’ll spar you and say, ‘Listen man, I’ve got a fight coming up, you’re probably going to bleed, I’m going to try to f--- you up, I’m going to try to hurt you, I’m going to try to take your soul from you.’ And they’re like, ‘Thanks for telling me.’
"Uriah’s the kind of guy that says, ‘Hey best friend, let’s go watch anime after this. We’re really good f------ friends.’ Next thing you know, spinning back f------ heel kick to the face.
"Me and him are a little different. Uriah’s the hidden psychopath. Uriah’s the kind of guy that will f------ knock you out and be like, ‘Are you OK?’ Then go beat his f------ d--- off to it before bed.”
In his last outing prior to Saturday's, Strickland most recently produced a special punch-perfect display to beat Krzysztof Jotko by unanimous decision at UFC Vegas 25 in May. Strickland landed 84 significant strikes in total, with statistics courtesy of UFC Stats. By comparison, Jotko landed a mere 37.
“I train a lot with Raymond Daniels for many years,” said Strickland. “But I think with Uriah, it’s hard to replicate that.
"He’s a specialist where it’s very difficult to find guys who can do that well. But at the end of the day, just keep your f------ hands up.”News Now - Sport News