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Morning Report: Dana White clarifies Sean Strickland fan interaction, says ‘he won’t be punching people anymore’

Dana White knew what he was in for by bringing Sean Strickland into enemy territory.

UFC 293 is set to go down in Sydney, Australia this Saturday night when America’s Strickland challenges two-time middleweight king Israel Adesanya for the divisional throne. Before he gets to throw hands with the champion, however, Strickland already got into it with the Aussie faithful.

Earlier this week, Strickland revealed that he punched a fan “right in the guts” after being approached and told Adesanya would “f*** him up.” UFC President Dana White wasn’t thrilled about the interaction but also expressed that it wasn’t as crazy as perhaps Strickland made it out to be.

“Do you know where the news came from that he punched a fan?” White asked at last night’s Contender Series post-fight press conference in response to a question about the incident. “[From him,] yeah. He’s a beauty. He played it up more than whatever. It was jokingly, the fan and him are cool.

“Going into this, I knew what this week was gonna be like. Yes, we’re prepared for it and yes we have people around him now so he won’t be punching people in the stomach anymore. For fun or not for fun.”

Strickland has notoriously become one of the biggest loose cannons on the UFC roster, at least when it comes to his verbal filter — or lack thereof. Never shy to share how he feels about any topic, Strickland has openly bashed his opponent Adesanya for mostly non-fight-related parts of his life. Therefore, leaving fans with plenty of anticipation for tomorrow’s pre-fight press conference.

For Adesanya, Strickland will act as the first title defense of his second reign as UFC middleweight champion. White has always been complimentary of having “The Last Stylebender” as one of his champions and with a sixth career title defense could see future divisional options looking sparse.

“It’s hard to talk about that stuff until a guy’s done with his career,” White said of Adesanya’s all-time great status. “The one thing about Israel — and I say it all the time — he always wants to fight. As soon as the fight’s over, a lot of these guys take their time, some guys fight twice, once a year. This kid, as soon as the fight is over, he’s already in the back telling [UFC CBO] Hunter [Campbell] what he wants next. Where he wants to go next and who he wants to fight next, he wants to fight in three months.

“Listen, he’s creating a serious legacy for himself. He’s actually starting to — after Strickland — he’s almost cleaned out the division.”


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Thanks for reading!



Who wins this weekend?

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    Israel Adesanya and Tai Tuivasa
    (201 votes)
  • 43%
    Israel Adesanya and Alexander Volkov
    (247 votes)
  • 10%
    Sean Strickland and Tai Tuivasa
    (59 votes)
  • 10%
    Sean Strickland and Alexander Volkov
    (61 votes)
568 votes total Vote Now

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