Luke Rockhold recounts sparring session with ‘loud mouth idiot’ Sean Strickland


Luke Rockhold’s early impressions of fellow former UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland were not very good, as he recounts Strickland walking into his home gym on sparring day.

“He’s just that guy that doesn’t care,” Rockhold said on the JAXXON Podcast. “He’ll try to kill you. Sean Strickland walked into RVCA one time and he was such a loud mouth idiot, I was like, ‘Who the f*** is this guy?’ I was so hungover, so annoyed, I was like, ‘F***, I’m going to get in a spar with this guy, I can’t even take it.’

“But I had seen him… he hurt a guy in the gym. He hurt him with a head kick. With like 30 seconds left, he wobbled him, and [the coach] was like, ‘Keep going, finish out the round.’ Instead of what most people would do which is try to work with him — especially when you’re on somebody else’s turf — Sean went straight back to that head kick and tried to knock him out multiple times. There’s 30 seconds left in the round, the kid’s done, show yourself as a f****** man and try to finish the round rather than just go back to the well and knock him out.”

Strickland has become of of the UFC’s biggest stars after defeating Israel Adesanya for the 185-pound title at UFC 293 in September. He went on to headline the promotion’s first pay-per-view of the year at UFC 297 earlier this month and dropped a razor close split decision to new champion Dricus du Plessis.

Like Strickland, Rockhold had a short run as UFC middleweight champ, losing the title in his first defense to Michael Bisping at UFC 299 in June 2016.

On that day at RVCA, Rockhold ended up getting his opportunity to spar with Strickland, and says despite feeling rough after a night of consuming adult beverages, he held his own.

“I remember we got into a little brawl for one round,” Rockhold explained. “He’s tricky, he’s a little tricky guy.

“I went into the bathroom, I put paper towel [and] wrapped it in my teeth like an old school wet mouthpiece, and I was swallowing the thing, sparring him hungover, and it was close. It was a close round. I would love to get him back out here [to spar again].”


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