Sean Strickland doesn’t see Australia as enemy territory in the slightest.
At Friday’s ceremonial weigh-ins for UFC 293, Strickland made the most of his on-stage time by playing to the Sydney crowd, thanking the fans for the reception he’s received and claiming that his opponent, middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, is the bad guy in their main event matchup.
“I’m getting support,” Strickland said. “Not because you guys like me, but because Izzy sucks. When I represent your country more than Izzy does, it’s easy to support me. I’m going to go have a f****** war for you guys and I’m going to f****** lose some brain cells for you f****** guys. Thank you for f****** showing me all the love. Thank you.”
Strickland has repeatedly attacked Adesanya’s persona in the leadup to Saturday’s title fight. Earlier this week, Strickland referred to Adesanya as a “cringe lord” and said that he doesn’t think anyone likes him.
Adesanya hasn’t hesitated to fire back, but on Friday, he had little to say and capped off his ceremonial weigh-in promo with a silent vow to silence Strickland on fight night.
“Don’t think about him,” Adesanya said. “It’s not about me, it’s about we. I’ve got a great team behind me, great countries behind me, great cultures behind me, but enough of all that. Tomorrow [raises finger to lips].”
UFC 293 takes place Saturday at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia.