Sean Strickland is respectful of Francis Ngannou’s decision to quit the UFC, but he wouldn’t make the same. ‘I’m an f ****** seller’


Earlier this year, Francis Ngannou officially parted ways with the UFC.

After a year on the shelf recovering from surgery and extended negotiations, Ngannou and the UFC were unable to come to terms to have the heavyweight champion re-sign with the promotion. Ngannou was unable to agree on terms for Ngannou’s re-signing with UFC. He wanted outside sponsorship, insurance and a contract that would allow him to continue boxing while still being under UFC contract. When the UFC would not cater to any of those requests, Ngannou ultimately decided to leave the promotion, turning down a substantial sum of money in the process.

It was a principled stance by Ngannou – one Sean Strickland (Xtreme Couture) respects even though he would not.

“I respect Francis for that,” Strickland said on The MMA Hour. “I’m going off what Eric [Nicksick] said, and if that was legit and he was just like, ‘Hey, I want to own my brand, I want to be who I am, it’s not about the money,’ I respect that. Me, personally, I’m not that f****** way. You f****** give me money, I’ll give you my name, I don’t give a f***. So I respect that fact that he stood by what he believed in and he did what he wanted to do. I’m personally not that way, I’m a f****** sellout.”

But while Strickland is decidedly supportive of the UFC, that doesn’t mean he thinks everything is perfect. Strickland seems to be touched by the recent death of Stephan Bonnar (a UFC Hall of Famer and Xtreme Couture Fighter).

“I’m a f****** company guy,” Strickland said. “I love the UFC. My commitment to UFC is unquestioned. You have to ask yourself, How much did the UFC make off Stephan Bonnar or Forrest Griffin by selling the UFC over the years? While I don’t think they are obliged to gift that pie to Stephan Bonnar, if he did, even just a little, it might have changed his life ******.

“I guess this comes back down to Francis, wanting more of himself. He desires to be more himself. I love the UFC, I’m happy, I’m doing things right, I’m making great money, but you look at guys like Stephan Bonnar, who paved the way and made the UFC f****** millions, and the pie definitely was not shared.

” There is a hierarchy within the company and I do not want anyone to believe that I am badmouthing UFC. This company makes me more — that fight was more than I could have ever made without the UFC. It’s not that I don’t appreciate it. Sometimes you just see Stephan Bonnars or s ***.”


Strickland has backed up his claim of being a “company guy” over the years.

Always willing to step in and fight nearly anyone, earlier this month he fought rising prospect Nassourdine Imavov on one week’s notice, after the UFC’s planned fight between Imavov and Kelvin Gastelum fell through. Strickland ended up winning the bout, earning “a decent amount of money” and the gratitude of the UFC.

But make no mistake, Strickland has no illusions about his career.

” “It’s just another daily for me,” Strickland stated.

“You get a lot of people in this sport, they win a fight and they get a little bit of money, we’re talking a little bit of money — I love the UFC, you guys employ me and give me more money, but a lot of money to the UFC is a very little bit of money in any other sport. These white garbage, or trashy *****s, get some money, and then they decide to buy themselves a suit. They get lots of Instagram followers, get blue checks, and soon they are the next big thing. No, dude, you’re a caveman. You get locked in a cage and fight for money.

“When I win, I get paid. Although I enjoy the amount of money that I earn, it is not the only thing that makes me happy. I’m a f***ing idiot. I go into a cage and sacrifice my f****** brains for money. Although it isn’t glamorous or f ****** exciting, I am just content that my ***** brains are not being used more than they should.