Israel Adesanya Criticizes ‘Idiot’ Sean Strickland, Sparring Techniques: ‘He’s A Rotten Apple’

Israel Adesanya
Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina - USA TODAY Sports & Chris Unger - Zuffa LLC

Reigning UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya has claimed that he would never spar with surging division contender, Sean Strickland, criticizing the North Carolina native’s tendency to spar in a hard manner.

Adesanya, who headlines UFC 276 this weekend during International Fight Week, attempts to secure his fifth successful defense of his undisputed middleweight crown, tackling the #2 ranked contender, Jared Cannonier.

As for Strickland, the streaking #4 ranked middleweight contender, also features on the UFC 276 main card – drawing former two-weight GLORY Kickboxing champion, Alex Pereira in a potential title-eliminator at 185lbs. 

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Israel Adesanya criticizes Sean Strickland and his tendency to spar harder than usual

Describing Strickland as a “rotten apple” with “screws loose”, Adesanya insisted that he was somewhat of a fan of the middleweight striker, however, has no time for his heavy sparring tendencies.

“Sean Strickland, he’s a bad motherf*cker,” Israel Adesanya said on his official YouTube channel. “Like, literally bad. Rotten apple. But I like the guy, he’s funny and he likes to talk sh*t as well. And his stand-up – I’ve seen him do more damage on YouTube in sparring than in his fights. Put it that way. I’ve seen his sparring footages (sic) and I would never spar with an idiot like that. I’ve hurt people in sparring before and I’m just like, ‘Sh*t, my bad.’”

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“I’ll pull back with the body shot or whatever but I’ve seen what he does,” Israel Adesanya continued. “He’s got many screws loose, many screws loose.” (Transcribed by Bloody Elbow)

Headlining for the second time this year, Nigerian-Kiwi striker, Adesanya managed to defeat former undisputed champion, Robert Whittaker in the main event of UFC 271 back in February – landing a second career win over the division standout.

During his reign as middleweight kingpin, Adesanya also holds successful title defenses against the trio of Yoel Romero, Paulo Costa, and Marvin Vettori.

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Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.