Surging UFC middleweight contender, Sean Strickland has detailed his experience of sparring with reigning heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou at Xtreme Couture – claiming that if the Batie puncher was to land on his once, sporting four ounce gloves, he would send him to “dreamland”.
Strickland, who holds the #7 rank at middleweight, is slated to headline UFC Vegas 47 on February 5. – taking on former Cage Warriors champion and slick grappling talent, Jack Hermansson.
For Ngannou, the Cameroon native is set to take main event honors at UFC 270 on January 22. – attempting to successfully unify the heavyweight titles as he meets with interim gold holder, Ciryl Gane.
Sean Strickland most recently scored a July unanimous decision win over Uriah Hall
Earlier this week, Xtreme Couture trainer, Eric Nicksick explained how Strickland routinely welcomes the opportunity to spar with heavyweight champion, Ngannou at the Las Vegas facility – and even manages to hold his own against the devastating knockout artist.
“That dude (Sean Strickland) will literally spar anybody in our gym,” Nicksick told MMA Fighting. “He calls Francis (Ngannou) out every sparring session. He loves to spar Francis because he goes, ‘I want to feel as close to death as possible and I want to have that fear of God in my heart every time I spar a guy like Francis Ngannou.’ So sure, we throw him in there and let him get some rounds with Francis. I watched him and Roy Nelson get after it (spar) last week. Those two try to knock each other’s heads off and here’s Sean Strickland, big old smile ear-to-ear.”
“The rounds between him (Francis Ngannou) and Sean (Strickland) are actually very competitive,” Nicksick said. “Sean gets in there and gets after it and Francis will entertain him if you will, and not knock him out. There’s some great rounds and credit to Sean, not everybody is chomping at the bit to hop in the cage with Francis.”
Confirming his sparring sessions with Ngannou, Strickland tweeted that while he feels comfortable sharing the sparring room with the champion whilst throwing 16 ounce gloves, a showdown with Ngannou sporting four ounce gloves would bring a different result.
“Everyone ask me how do I do with francious (sic) (Francis Ngannou) lol!!” Sean Strickland tweeted. “I will tell you that I do really well with him (Francis Ngannou) with 16 [ounce] gloves in the GYM lol!!! Bottom line is you put 4 ounce gloves on him in a FIGHT and he touches me once and I will go to dreamland!!! LOL.”