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Sean Strickland launches derisive attack on women’s MMA ahead of UFC 297

The men’s middleweight champion also confronted a journalist over his views on the LGBTQ community

Michael Jones
Thursday 18 January 2024 19:50 GMT
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(AP)

Sean Strickland took a shot at women’s MMA during a sexist and homophobic outburst at the UFC 297 media day, claiming that no-one would watch the female side of the sport if it was not coupled to the men’s.

Strickland, the current men’s middleweight champion, headlines a Saturday night fight card that also features Raquel Pennington and Mayra Bueno Silva going head-to-head for the vacant women’s bantamweight title as a co-main event.

At the press conference to promote his clash against Dricus Du Plessis, the often controversial and outspoken Strickland was asked his opinion on sharing the same card with female fighters and gave a scathing reply about women’s MMA.

“I don’t give a f***. Let’s be honest, I’m not going to be offensive when I say this,” he said, “WNBA vs NBA, who watches what and who makes more money?

“Sure, have women’s MMA, have it be a thing. I don’t like to watch it. I don’t think most people like to watch it. If the female MMA was to separate from the male MMA no-one’s going to watch that s***.

“There is a vast difference between men and women. Even take this weak, Canadian sitting next to you [pointing at a male journalist], he could probably beat up Raquel Pennington. The fact of the matter is any one of you f**** could beat our co-main event in a fight.

“I’m not saying you can’t sit there and enjoy it, but I don’t want to see two f****** little cats fight, I want to see lions fight. But here we are. I’m sure they’re great fighters. I didn’t say anything too offensive did I?”

UFC champion Sean Strickland caused more controversy with his latest sexist and homophobic rant (AP)

Strickland, one of the sports most divisive fighters, also launched a verbal attack on a journalist who asked him about a tweet he had written in 2021.

The 2021 post read: “If I had a gay son I would think I failed as a man to create such weakness. If I had a w**** for a daughter I’d think she just wanted to be like her dad lol!!”

When asked about his tweet, Strickland interrupted the reporter by asking: “Let me ask you, are you a gay man?”

The journalist responded that he was an ally of the community which seemed to trigger Strickland into yet another controversial rant with the UFC champion retorting: “Then you’re a weak f****** man, dude.

“You’re probably the f****** problem, you elected [Canadian Prime Minister] Justin Trudeau. He seized the bank accounts, you’re just f****** pathetic. You have no backbone while he shuts down your country and shuts bank accounts you ask me stupid s*** like that, go f*** yourself, move the f*** on, coward.”

The UFC allows fighters to express whatever opinions they like so Strickland is unlikely to face any consequences for his words.

This latest tirade follows threats from Strickland to ‘stab’ Du Plesis on Saturday night if he spoke about Strickland’s childhood trauma again after the pair had previously fought in the crowd at UFC 296 following comments from the South African about Strickland’s allegations of abuse.

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