Sean Strickland has made it very easy to dislike him during his rise to stardom in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight division. I mean, just today (Thurs., May 26, 2022) the man got suspended from Twitter — not his first social media timeout.
While “Tarzan” isn’t shy to express his feelings about anyone or anything, including his teammates, one of his main training partners, Marvin Vettori, has stuck around to help strengthen their skillsets.
“It’s a very weird relationship that me and Sean have,” Vettori told Helen Yee. “We respect each other and he says a lot of crazy s—t, it’s hard to stay by his side a lot of times but I know deep inside he’s not a bad guy. He brings it, we help each other, we’ve been helping each other for over five or more years almost.”
Vettori fought for the UFC Middleweight title in his June 2021 rematch with Israel Adesanya. Unfortunately for “The Italian Dream,” he came up short via unanimous decision (watch highlights) and is now looking to work his way back into title contention. In his rebound bout, Vettori defeated a fellow former title challenger, Paulo Costa, in Oct. 2021.
Now, both Vettori and Strickland have huge fights booked that will see them continually orbit the other in the rankings if they pull off victories. Vettori has a date at UFC Paris on Sept. 3 with former champion Robert Whittaker, but before that, Strickland aims to halt the momentum of Alex Pereira at UFC 277 on July 30 to secure his first crack at gold.
“They asked us to fight each other and we were kinda like, ‘Weird,’ you know?” Vettori said. “He’s one of the guys that gives me more work than a lot of other guys and it’s the same for him. I mean, I believe he’s gonna win this fight [vs. Pereira] and if he gets a shot, I’m nothing but happy for him. Even though he’s a little bit crazy, I still respect him and I consider him a friend. Who knows? Maybe one day we fight for the title.”