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Morning Report: Sean Strickland explains why he accepted short-notice fight with Nassourdine Imavov at UFC Vegas 67

Sean Strickland
Sean Strickland
Photo by Amy Kaplan/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Sean Strickland is going to be well-compensated for his short-notice fight with Nassourdine Imavov.

This Saturday, Imavov was supposed to fight Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of UFC Vegas 67; however, an injury forced Gastelum out of the fight and so instead, the No. 7-ranked Strickland stepped in on just a few days’ notice. It’s also a quick turnaround for Strickland, who lost a split decision to Jared Cannonier in the main event of UFC Vegas 66 less than a month ago. Strickland acknowledges that these aren’t ideal circumstances for a fight but the former King of the Cage middleweight champion says the UFC is making it worth his while.

“I was currently planning a snowboarding trip and then Mick [Maynard] calls me and I’m like, ‘Mick is going to ask me to do something I don’t want to do,’” Strickland told reporters at the UFC Vegas 67 media day. “... He calls me and he’s like, ‘Hey, you want this fight?’ I’m like, ‘God damn it, Mick. I haven’t done anything for a month. I’ve been sitting on my ass.’ ... Then his suave Australian motherf****** ass says, ‘We’ll pay you a decent amount of money,’ and I said, ‘Well god damn it, I’m your f****** huckleberry. Let’s go f****** fight a man.’”

Since returning to middleweight in 20020, Strickland has seen a career resurgence, winning five fights in a row that put him in a title eliminator bout with Alex Pereira. Unfortunately, Strickland was brutally knocked out in that fight, and after losing to decision to Cannonier, he now finds himself in need of a win to avoid dropping three in a row. That’s a tall order against Imavov who is one of the hottest rising prospects in the middleweight division and is currently riding a three-fight win streak. But in classic Strickland fashion, he’s not all that concerned.

“I’m not even you going to try to f****** say that name,” Strickland said. “Let’s call him the Frenchie. And if we’ve learned anything about the French – what are the French best at? Giving up. So, I haven’t really watched him fight. I know he likes to bang, he throws big punches, but he’s still f****** French. That’s a hard thing to move past. There’s a lot of history of cowardice to move on from when you’re f****** French.

“So maybe he’s in there to prove a statement. Maybe he’s going to say that his country has f****** finally left the cowardice behind, but I don’t f*cking know. Only thing the French are good at is having affairs and giving up and losing fights. But we’ll f****** find out. Maybe he’s different.”

UFC Vegas 67 takes place this Saturday.


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VIDEO STEW

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Dana White addresses the media.

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LISTEN UP

Reaction. The MMA Fighting Team reacts to Dana White’s surprise media appearance.

No Bets Barred. Breaking down the best bets for UFC Vegas 67.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Gregory Rodrigues (13-4) vs. Brunno Ferreira (9-0); UFC 283, Jan. 21.

Usman Nurmagomedov (16-0) vs. Benson Henderson (30-11); Bellator 292, March 10.

Tofiq Musayev (20-4) vs. Alexander Shabliy (22-3); Bellator 292, March 10.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow!


EXIT POLL

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    Dan Ige
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